Published Apr. 3, 2013
By Davis Wahlman, KEPR TV
You might have an old computer that ended up in the garbage because you knew it shouldn't go in the trash.
Now, there's a new place to take it that could help local students.
Dusty desktops and tangled wires. This isn't a junk yard, it's classroom.
Students are tasked with taking apart computers and repurposing them.
I'm really glad because it just gives our students an opportunity to work on a bunch of different computers."
Tony Sako runs the recycling program and teaches the computer science class at CBC.
He says most of the computers are donated by people in the community. A notice on the City of Richland's website also helped.
"We probably get 90 percent of our donations from people who just look at the city of Richland's website and say, 'hey,' got an old computer, can we take it to CBC?" Sako says.
In most cases, you can.
The program is home to a diverse group of students with even more diverse aspirations.
"This program is highly-recommended by professionals in the Tri-City area and it's a good start to get prepared for a career in information technology," said CBC student Kenneth Hahn.
Anne Wegner-Jorgensen has a different story.
"I was one of the people who got laid off at Hanford, so I'm in the worker retraining program," she says.
Still, another student, Ethan Walters, is just happy to be learning something new.
"I know very little about the PC hardware, so this is going to be a great opportunity to learn something," he says.
But the story doesn't end there.
After the students take apart the old computers, they put working parts back in. The PC's can be donated to students in Pasco who couldn't afford one otherwise.
"We do give new life to the computers and then through Pasco High, they can actually be used," said Sako.
It's a teaching tool that lives on locally.
Since the program started back in 2006, the students at CBC have re-purposed almost 400 computers.
To donate yours to the program, just go http://www.ci.richland.wa.us/
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