DECATUR, Ga.—The South DeKalb Computer Cooperative —a Perimeter College project—is accepting used computers, printers and cell phones as part of its technology recycling and refurbishing program.
Fernando Rochaix, an instructor in Georgia State University’s Perimeter College, and Perimeter students created the co-op in 2013 to help students on Georgia State’s Decatur campus who don’t own a computer.
The cooperative pairs students in need of a computer or printer with student co-op members who help them repair or refurbish recycled technology donated by individuals and businesses. The computer or printer is then given to the student in need of the equipment —typically a south DeKalb resident—who must agree to help another student repair, refurbish or build a computer or printer.
“I’m frustrated by problems that have easy solutions,” Rochaix said, “especially by things that can be done by goodwill and things that don’t cost much. The co-op enables us to identify those in need, then connect them to technology.”
Rochaix said the DeKalb program is modeled after bicycle co-ops throughout the nation. Rochaix wants to grow the co-op to address a larger number of technology needs across south DeKalb.
In addition to the recycling and refurbishing program, Rochaix and co-op students lead monthly technology instruction sessions for computer science students at the DeKalb High School of Technology South.
“It is my hope that this can develop into a community center, where labor, knowledge and hardware can be open-sourced to those who need it the most,” Rochaix said.
To donate cell phones, computers or printers, contact Rochaix at: [email protected] or 678-891-2608.