Find out how your old computers and other IT equipment can be reused and what to do next. The IT Reuse project has reused over 2,000 PCs and 2,000 items like keyboards, mice, and monitors since 2015.
Get more out of your IT equipment
Bradley Richards (Bradley.Richards@ed.ac.uk), IT Reuse Technician, offers dedicated support to help facilitate the reuse of IT equipment. This includes:
- Fixing, cleaning and securely wiping items
- Sourcing items
- Moving and rehoming items
- Offering advice for reusing equipment
If you are interested in sourcing reused IT equipment or donating disused equipment, please get in touch on the email above.
All of our items go through the University's reuse portal, Warp It. Find out about registering an account here:
Find out about Warp It
If there are items that cannot stay within the University, they are donated to the Edinburgh Remakery, a local Social Enterprise.
How to put a PC on Warp It yourself
This is a step by step guide for anyone interested in putting a machine with data on Warp It themselves.
Before getting started
This is reserved for Computer Reps only. The person uploading the PC is responsible for going through all of the steps listed. If you are unsure if you are a Computer Rep or want to find out where the nearest Computer Rep is, contact Alan Peddie (Alan.Peddie@ed.ac.uk).
Step by Step guide
- The following models are appropriate for internal reuse: HP 8300, HP 800 G1, HP 800 G2, HP 800 G3, any Dell Post 2012 or any apple product post-2011.
- The IT Reuse Project has access to Blannco software for wiping hard drives though DBAN is fine for internal reuse.
- Confirm whether the device needs to be PAT tested. If the PC is for single use and not plugged into an extension then it doesn’t need to be PAT tested. If it is for communal use or plugged into an extension then the wires used must be PAT tested.
- Keep a record. Have you made a note of the serial number? Usually, this is located on the top of the tower on a sticker. Also, make a note of when you did the wiping process. Use the additional comments box when uploading the PC to Warp It.
If you have followed all steps listed above, then you are ready to upload the information about the PC to Warp It.
Reusing PCs is more environmentally friendly than recycling. It reduces the resources needed to produce new items, the costs associated with buying new equipment, and the energy used during recycling.
Computers are donated to the scheme because their processing power may be insufficient for a department’s needs. Reused computers are used for basic word processing or internet browsing.
As part of the University’s commitment to reduce consumption and waste, the project is one way it is working to create a so-called circular economy – the sustainable reuse of resources – within its own practices.
The University also donates computers between five and eight years old to The Remakery, a social enterprise that teaches repair skills and sells the rebooted PCs for low prices to local communities in Leith.
PCs more than eight years old are currently recycled via the licenced Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment provider, CCL North, with a clear goal to increase reuse.
All computers’ memories have been safely wiped prior to donation or recycling.
As a founding member of Electronics Watch, the University has been working to make its electronics use more socially responsible. The University collaborated with ten partners across Europe on an EU-funded project entitled ‘Make ICT Fair – Reforming Manufacture and Minerals Supply Chains through Policy, Finance and Public Procurement’ from November 2017 to January 2021.
In March 2016, we became the first Higher Education institution in the UK to establish a Conflict Minerals Policy which ultimately seeks to help to protect vulnerable communities by avoiding the use of rare earth minerals that fund conflict.