(262) 853-4089 pc.assistants@gmail.com

photo of computer recycling program volunteer

Brizaida Reyes

Actually, there are many reasons why I’m asking you to donate your computers to IndependenceFirst. Using “2” in the header was just my way of grabbing your attention. After all, preserving our environment and helping non-profits is important stuff and I want to encourage everyone to do their part.

Why IndependenceFirst?
They empower people with disabilities and promote full inclusion in our community. To help accomplish those goals, IndependenceFirst established a computer recycling program. Here’s what it does:IndependenceFirst Main Lobby

  • Cleans and refurbishes donated personal or business computers
  • Makes recycled computers available to people with disabilities
  • Distributes 350-400 desktop computers a year
  • Meets with recipients to give basic instructions on their “new” computers
  • Provides computer training (and guidance with things such as social skills) for many of the recycling program’s volunteers
  • Works with vets

Why Recycle At All
The following is for those of you who may need a reminder (again, I don’t think any of my clients do, but maybe you’d like to share this information with someone who does).

  • Preserves Resources
    “When you discard a 5-pound laptop, you are also throwing away the 20,000 pounds of raw materials it took to make it.” ~ TechSoup, Ten Tips for Donating a Computer
  • Keeps lead, mercury, zinc and carcinogens from leaking into the water supply and surrounding environment.
    “Electronic waste represents 2% of U.S. trash in landfills, but it equals 70% of overall toxic waste. ElectronicHouse.com
  • Is Tax-Deductible
  • Creates Local Employment

How to Donate to IndependenceFirst
Always a good idea to call first—let them know you’re coming and what you’re donating (no CRTs), verify the hours, etc. Here’s the number for the main office in Milwaukee: (414) 291-7520 (V/TTY).

  1. Fill out the necessary form.
  2. Take out the hard drive and destroy it. Or, one of the IndependenceFirst volunteers can do it for you. If you’d like to know what a hard drive looks like and how to remove it yourself, here’s a quick and nicely-done video.
  3. Drop off at the Milwaukee main office: 540 South 1st Street; or,
  4. If you have a large donation (businesses frequently do), arrange a time for pick-up.
  5. Give yourself a shout-out for doing a good deed.

If Not a Computer Donation, How ‘Bout… 
• Making an alternate donation to IndependenceFirst. Here are some suggestions.

• Serving as a volunteer. Get started here.

• You can also support this non-profit organization online (it does make a difference). “Like” their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter.

Thank You 
Special thanks to these people for taking time to share the IndependenceFirst story for my website:

Starlet Hayes, Fund Development & Communications Director
Matt Annen, Network Administrator/Computer Recycling Program Supervisor
Joel Hoedel, Network Administrator
and the Computer Recycling Program volunteers