It was really meant to solve a problem that we had. As an information technology service provider, we have clients constantly decommissioning their old information technology assets every year, due to the increased odds of failure from age and wear. These IT equipment are normally still fully functioning, but the downtime that can potentially be caused by the decreased reliability of these equipment have rendered them a risk. In typical corporate settings, availability is the key, as downtime translates to a loss in productivity and profit. To maximize IT availability, the usage cycle is planned, used, decommissioned, and replaced.

The Problem

In our experience, we had to compensate the recycling vendor to get the decommissioned equipment transported away and recycled. The exception is relatively newer equipment that are less than 3 years old, as they may have residual value that these vendors can extract by reselling the equipment.

As we learned more about how majority of the e-recycle is actually processed, we found that more often than not, the recycler ships these equipment to other countries, where the locals use crude and primitive methods in order to extract the metals. These methods release harmful chemicals into the environment and cause health issues for the workers. Of course, there are responsible and innovative recyclers that will prioritize reuse, and recycle responsibly without harming the environment. Unfortunately, they are far from the majority.

Intended Goal

We asked ourselves: what if these decommissioned equipment can continue to be used to their full product life? Utilizing the equipment until they actually fail will be the best way to reduce tech carbon footprints, conserve natural resources, and keep the non-recyclable parts away from the landfill as long as we can.

Since the equipment are still fully functional, they could have the lifespan anywhere from another day to years left. The target audience will need to be a group of users that will not suffer adverse productivity or economic effects when equipment eventually fail, and can be easily reassigned in the event of an outage.

The Solution

Then the solution found us: in a classroom setting within developing nations.

While we view computing devices as fundamental and readily available within our educational institutions, there are many other areas in the world where such fundamental is severely lacking or completely absent.

In a classroom setting, students are usually assigned to their own workstations. In the event of an outage of a single device, the affected student can be paired up with another without too much hassle. In the event of a device failure that impact multiple workstations, the class can simply be postponed until the issue is remedied.

By donating these decommissioned equipment to these educational institutions in developing nations, who otherwise do not have any, not only solves our problem but will also contribute to the growth of another community.

Initial Trial

We went and examined a few different places in the world. After an extended period of researching and exploring into this matter, we selected Jabuuti Primary and Secondary School located in Mogadishu as the initial candidate.

Logistics were a major concern. To make our initial trial easier, we utilized laptops only. The devices had their storage zeroed, physically cleaned, inspected, operating system loaded, and a local set of open source productivity software along with an offline encyclopedia installed onto the laptops. Late in April 2023, this small batch of laptops was donated in person directly into the hands of the principal and teachers of the Jabuuti School. We believe by donating directly, it will significantly lessen the chance of exploitative loss.

It went relatively well.


We are at the very early stages of this charitable cause. It is a project that changes our way of dealing with decommissioning IT assets. We will monitor the usage, effect, and aftermath of this initial delivery for analysis and improvement. So far, it is as satisfying as we originally hoped.

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