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University’s donation of 100 computers brings cheer to needy families


Sharlene King
16 December 2015
Southern Cross University has donated 100 computers to families in need as part of the ‘100 computers for 100 Lismore kids’ campaign.

The University’s gesture is the campaign’s biggest single donation.

The ‘100 computers for 100 Lismore kids’ campaign, an initiative of SORT Recycling Limited, aims to provide refurbished computers to Lismore’s low income families, pensioners and community groups by the end of December.

The YWCA NSW Northern Rivers has partnered with the University and SORT to distribute the computers at no charge to Lismore families. Families will also receive Windows and Office software (on registration of their details as per Microsoft Refurbishment Licence arrangements).

Matthew Smith, Director of Technology Services and Chief Information Officer at SCU, said the 100 computers were the product of recent upgrades at the University.

“We are pleased to make this worthwhile donation to the community. Southern Cross University has a strong commitment to its role as a leader in achieving environmental, social and economic sustainability through our teaching, research and operations. In particular, we recognise that the quantity of e-waste is increasing much faster than other types of waste and for a number of years we have acted to ensure that SCU is not a contributor to that growth.

“We are excited that the University’s old computers and laptops will have a new home and are proud to support SORT in its ‘100 computers for 100 Lismore kids’ campaign. It’s a wonderful initiative.”

SORT (Soils, Oceans, Rivers, Trees) Recycling Limited is a not-for-profit social enterprise with two aims: to enhance recycling and create new jobs for the community.

“Thanks to generosity of the Lismore business community and residents, we have reached our goal of 100 computer systems to give back out to those who need them,” said SORT Lismore site manager Linda Mathew.

“The donation of 100 computers from SCU is an added bonus, and will enable us to help another 100 families in the Lismore region. This is our biggest single donation, and is very much appreciated.

“This campaign has just been a win-win situation for all involved. SORT participants have learnt new skills, with some achieving employment via our network. We are preventing potentially hazardous materials going into landfill, whilst opening up recycling markets for the e-waste we can't use. Everything is recycled responsibly.”

YWCA NSW Northern Rivers runs a variety of community programs that engage families including: transition to school programs; parenting support; youth training; and supported playgroups.

“YWCA NSW is very happy to play a part in distributing these computers to Lismore families who do not currently have one at home,” said Partnerships Manager, Louise Collins.

SORT welcomes donations of working and broken e-waste, including computer towers, laptops, keyboards, mice, monitors and associated cords. Anything that can't be refurbished is dismantled and its components are given new life as jewellery and art made by the participants.

Donations can be dropped off at the SORT warehouse at 10 County Lane, Lismore (corner of Eggins Lane).

Sustainable Technology at Southern Cross University

Under the leadership of Matthew Smith, Technology Services at SCU has implemented a number of sustainable technology infrastructure and services initiatives across the University in the past few years:

• The re-use of redundant goods via trade-ins or sale or return to a lease company who may also offer them for resale. In cases where the items are not returned or traded in, they are sent for e-waste recycling via Lismore City Council’s e-waste initiative.

• Introducing a range of initiatives to alleviate the need for physical travel between campuses, particularly with new videoconferencing software, therefore reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

• An audit and review of the University’s printer fleet led to the decommissioning of more than 200 printers that were replaced with strategically placed multifunction printers around each campus, along with a new printing management system. Staff and students now use their ID card at printers to ‘activate’ their print jobs which eliminates piles of uncollected printing. The change had a two-fold benefit: it reduced the number of printers on campus while increasing their efficiency (enforced double-sided printing, reduction in the volume of paper printed, more efficient printer power usage)

• Computer equipment packaging is retained and re-used to send back equipment to the leasing company.
Photo: Phoebe Galea (front) with her children five-year-old Channai Haynes and Joseph Haynes, aged three, are one of the Lismore families receiving a PC, with (left to right) Linda Mathew from SORT, Chereece Dixon (orthern Rivers Social Development Council, Louise Collins from YWCA, Nick Wilson from SORT and Matthew Smith, Director of Technology Services and Chief Information Officer at SCU.