PHLDonateTech is a City initiative calling on residents and businesses to donate, recycle, and provide computers to families and people in need across Philadelphia.
How will my equipment get picked up?
If you are an individual, small business, or organization who has 1-25 computers to donate, you can visit retrievr.com or text the word PICKUP to 757-70-FETCH (757-703-3824) to get started. Retrievr’s easy-to-use system walks you through how to identify what you are donating and select your collection date. They have a contactless pickup system that comes directly to your door.
If you are donating more than 25 computers, you can fill out the online form on Electronic Access Foundation’s website. They will reach out to you in 24-48 hours to learn more about the equipment that you have for them to pick up and will schedule a time that works for you.
What other equipment is needed?
Tablets, webcams, and mobile phones are all equipment that the recyclers and refurbishers can take and either repurpose or recycle sustainably. These are all welcome donations!
Printers, routers, and other equipment are not in high enough demand to repurpose for community members.
Mobile phones can only be refurbished for another person if they no longer have iCloud or are no longer attached to a service plan. They need to be “unlocked” and this can only be done by the owner of the account. If you wish to donate mobile phones, here are a few articles that can help you transfer and wipe your data and unlock your phone so that someone else can use it.
- How to wipe your data from your phone: https://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-wipe-your-phone-or-tablet-before-selling/
- How to remove iCloud from an Apple iPhone: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201351
- How to remove Google Lock from an Android Phone: https://help.ting.com/hc/en-us/articles/205666168-Removing-your-Android-activation-lock
You can still donate phones without removing iCloud or Google Lock, but they will be recycled for parts and not redistributed to someone in need.
Who are the partners?
Retrievr: Retrievr offers easy, on-demand doorstep collection and recycling for electronics and clothing. To schedule a pick up of our devices (25 or less), go to retrievr.com or text the work PICKUP to 757-70-FETCH (757-703-3824).
NERDiT Foundation: The NERDiT Foundation 501(c)(3), is the sister organization of NERDiT NOW, with the mission to close the digital divide. They believe that everyone should have the right to technology and to be afforded the opportunity to learn how technology can truly make an impact for us all. Since 2015, NERDiT Foundation has donated over 100 refurbished computers, each year, and over 3000 units this year alone due to COVID, to our communities. The NERDs also offer free technical support to the recipients of the donated technology.
Electronic Access Foundation: Electronic Access Foundation (EAF) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization established for the purpose of donating surplus electronic equipment to other qualified charitable organizations in need. EAF obtains donations through partnership with corporations, universities, and organizations by offering them an alternative to recycling of their surplus electronic equipment including; desktops, laptops, servers, tablets, cell phones, flat screens & more! As a member of AFTRR.org, we address and support the elimination of the digital divide for underserved communities.
Temple University Computer Recycling Center: Temple University Computer Recycling Center (CRC) is an award-winning operation that gathers surplus computer and electronic equipment from around the university, refurbishes that equipment if possible, redeploys the equipment where appropriate, donates any excess usable equipment and, where appropriate, disposes of unusable equipment in a secure manner.
How will my data be protected if I donate my equipment?
The partners have provided information about their data security measures.
Retrievr protects your personal information through a secure chain of custody and by completely wiping or shredding hard drives and other data devices. Devices that are eligible for use in the PHLDonateTech program will be sequestered until passed to NERDiT Now, who follows data security handling processes validated by third-party audits to refurbish devices. Devices not eligible for PHLDonateTech will be securely sanitized at our warehouse and then responsibly recycled. Certificates of data destruction are available upon request.
NERDiT NOW is in the process of becoming R2 certified. They will safely and properly handle all data that is within their custody. They run data sanitation programs on each drive to ensure that it has support for 24 sanitation standards including DoD 5220.22M and NIST 800-88. This simply means that all data is erased prior to leaving their facility.
As a member of AFTRR.org, Electronic Access Foundation pledges to keep data safe and utilize data destruction procedures that meet the minimum standards and supported by industry best practices. They can wipe any computer hard drives and provide a certificate of data destruction ensuring that your data was destroyed according to all HIPAA and DoD guidelines. They pledge to recycle responsibly and comply with all governmental regulatory requirements for appropriate disposal of non-viable equipment (e-waste) through their R2 or e-Steward certified partners.
Are there any fees?
In support of PHLDonateTech, any computer (laptops and desktops) pickups scheduled by Philadelphia residents or businesses through February 15th will have their pickup fee waived by Retrievr.
For residents or businesses looking for doorstep recycling of other items, Retrievr offers affordable rates that can vary by location.
No fees will be applied to any large bulk pick ups from Electronic Access Foundation.
Can you provide me with a tax-exempt letter regarding my donation?
Yes. Electronic Access Foundation and NerdiT Now can provide this to you.
Will all my equipment be donated to a family?
Not necessarily. This will depend on the condition and the quality of the equipment. We want to make sure that families in need have computers that they can use for several years. The refurbishers have minimum standards for equipment that will get redistributed into the community based on best practices.
But don’t worry! Anything that can’t get used, will be recycled sustainably and safely and this will help keep operations going for this initiative.
Who will my computer be donated to?
Our partners will donate equipment to local Philadelphia non-profits to distribute directly to clients in need. Nonprofits that serve the following populations will be prioritized:
- People who are homeless or housing insecure
- People who are medically fragile
- Adult learners (ABE, GED, and ESL)
- Workforce training students
- 18-24 year-olds enrolled in educational programs
- Small business owners
- Black and Latinx households
- People who identify as LGBTQ
- People with disabilities
Philadelphia nonprofits in need of equipment for their clients should contact EAF, NerdiT, or Temple CRC so that these refurbishers can formally partner with your organization.
I am a nonprofit or community organization that works with these priority populations. How can I get these refurbished computers for my clients or participants who need them?
If you are a nonprofit organization that has a need for equipment and has the ability to directly provide that equipment to your clients, we encourage you to reach out directly to NerdiT, EAF and Temple to request equipment. Developing a partnership with each of these refurbishers will help you get equipment as it becomes available.
Each refurbisher currently has a handful of nonprofit partners that they are working with. All the refurbishers are working with the DLA Digital Navigator organizations: SEAMAAC, Drexel’s ExCiTe Center, and Community Learning Center. You can learn more about the Digital Navigator program here.
Temple’s CRC is working with organizations that are in the Lenfest North Philadelphia Workforce Initiative. They have developed partnerships with Congreso de Latino Unidos, Norris Homes, and Association Puertorriquenos en Marcha (APM).
NerdiT is working with the West Philadelphia Corridor Collaborative and the Digital Navigator organizations.
EAF is working with Big Picture and the Digital Navigator organizations.
As PHLDonateTech gets pushed out, we hope that equipment will come through. Please note that it will take time to get the devices and refurbish them. All the refurbishers prefer to provide equipment in bulk to each organization, rather than one device at a time, so having a request ready for a handful of participants who need the equipment will make sure that we get devices to those who are identified as needing it.
NerdiT has also provided this helpful Philadelphia Donation Form for nonprofits that you can fill out to request devices.
I am in need of a computer. How can I get one of these refurbished computers?
We encourage individuals to reach out to a Digital Navigator. Digital Navigators can help individuals find a low-cost or free computer, sign up for internet access or troubleshoot internet connectivity, and provide support using the computer or internet if you need some assistance. The following organizations provide Digital Navigator services:
- Community Learning Center
- Drexel’s ExCiTe Center
You can learn more about how to reach a Digital Navigator here. If residents call a Digital Navigator helpline, then a navigator can help them get access to a device.
Please be aware that devices may not be available right away and that each organization will determine how to assess your need for a device.
As part of its PHLDonateTech program, the City of Philadelphia (“City”) is providing links to several recyclers and/or refurbishers listed above (the “Refurbishers”) to recycle and provide computers to families and people in need across Philadelphia. These Refurbishers working with PHLDonateTech are not operated or controlled by the City. The City is providing this list of Refurbishers for your convenience only. If you use any of the links above, you will leave the City’s website and be directed to a website for that particular Refurbisher.
The City provides no warranties, promises, and/or representations of any kind, expressed or implied, as to the nature, diligence, or data security practices provided by any of these Refurbishers. It is your responsibility to ensure that any computer donated as part of the PHLDonateTech program is completely wiped of any personal, confidential, or sensitive data before it is donated. The City disclaims any and all responsibility for ensuring the protection, security, or safeguarding of any data remaining on computers donated as part of PHLDonateTech. Further, the City makes no representations or warranties, and provides no advice, about the applicability or eligibility of any potential tax consequences, deductions, or credits as a result of your participation in PHLDonateTech.
By clicking on the links above, you acknowledge that in no event shall the City be liable to you or to any other person or entity for any direct, indirect, special, incidental, or consequential or other damages, costs, or expenses arising out of or in relation to your participation in, or the donations made through PHLDonateTech or use of any of the Refurbisher’s websites.