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05.12.05
actnow launches initiative to recycle computers in Cornwall and Africa

Nigel Ashcroft of actnow (centre) with Gail Brierley and Graham Pitt of Computers for CharityThis week sees the launch of a new initiative from actnow, the Objective One project spearheading the growth of broadband amongst businesses in Cornwall.

actnow have announced a partnership with Computers for Charity, a national organisation based in Bude and are setting out to promote computer recycling in Cornwall. Many businesses have old computer equipment lying around that they no longer need. Through the scheme, this will be collected, stripped of any data and then recycled.

Some recycled computers will be shipped out to community projects in Africa whilst those which can be refurbished to the highest standard will be distributed to the needy in Cornwall through an association with organisations such as social services and other welfare agencies. Those computers that cannot be refurbished will be recycled for parts and materials.

Nigel Ashcroft, project director of actnow, says: "Disposing of old computers is an important environmental issue as computers are amongst the most toxic of all waste. In fact, the government is planning to soon make it impossible to simply dump computer equipment in landfill sites. actnow is supporting nearly 7000 businesses in Cornwall and we want to encourage them to donate their old computer equipment to this recycling scheme so they can help make a difference and help the environment. It's high time everyone becomes a 'Green Collar Worker'!"

Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One partnership, says: "We are discovering that broadband can actually help the environment in a number of ways. A recent research study carried out for BT by the University of Bradford revealed that many Cornish businesses are saving fuel as they travel less for meetings now that more communication is carried out online. There are also huge savings in paper use. By also promoting computer recycling, actnow is working hard to maximise the environmental benefits of broadband."

Graham Pitt, one of the founding partners of Computers for Charity, adds: "It is fantastic to see the launch of this partnership with actnow as it will help build awareness of computer recycling amongst the business community. And because many of the refurbished computers will go back into disadvantaged Cornish communities, this initiative will help bridge the digital divide."

Computers will be collected from business premises for a nominal charge of £2.50 per item. (Free collection for over 20 items) To arrange collection, visit www.computersforcharity/actnow or call Gail on 01288 361199.

For more information please contact Emma Lydon of actnow on 0800 800 935.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in actnow through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF).

Anyone considering a new horticulture, food and land based industries project is advised to speak with Maria Ford, at Government Office South West - 01752 635015 - before commencing development as there are now only limited funds available due to the successful uptake of funding by the agricultural sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

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Editor's notes:

The actnow programme is a demand-led initiative to encourage businesses in Cornwall to gain the support they need to move into the new broadband economy. It is one of the largest private and public sector partnerships in Cornwall since the county was granted Objective One status by the European Union in 2000.

The £20 million project is part financed by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF). Other project partners include Cornwall Enterprise, The Objective One Partnership Office, BT, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the South West of England Regional Development Agency, Cornwall County Council, Business Link Devon and Cornwall College.

Computers For Charity is a voluntary partnership that was established in 1993 in response to a need identified among charitable groups for easier access to IT equipment. CFC collects computers nationally and processes them in Cornwall from where they are distributed to UK voluntary organisations and several African countries. Currently CFC processes around 160 tonnes of IT equipment per year and this is expected to increase following the partnership with actnow.

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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