The Recycle A Device (RAD) project achieved numerous accomplishments in 2023, according to its end of year report, and prepares for more in the upcoming year. Among the highlights was the gifting of 2,374 laptops to the community and the marking of a significant milestone by giving out the 4,000th laptop since the project's inception in 2020.
According to Bronwyn Scott, General Manager of Digital Future Aotearoa, these milestones represent "magical moments." This success was coupled with recognition in the form of two NZ Hi-Tech Awards and the IDC Future Enterprise Future of Trust Award for Australasia. Scott reiterated that these awards not only recognised the hard work of the RAD team but also helped secure essential funding.
RAD heralded a dynamic partnership approach, collaborating with organizations like The Warehouse Group, Department of Internal Affairs, Silver Fern Farms, Computer Recycling, the Department of Conservation, Foodstuffs, Chorus, and many more. The support varied from office collections of e-waste to social media advocacy and vital financial contributions. These collaborations significantly contributed to the positive impact on Aotearoa's community and environment.
One exemplary partnership mentioned was with Tei Mua Tatou, based in Mangere. The group managed to repair a total of 623 laptops for their community after receiving training from Remojo Tech in 2022. The training has not only empowered the participants to diagnose issues and fix laptops but also enriched them with tech engineering, project management, teamwork, and problem-solving skills. Two participants from Tei Mua Tatou even became RAD trainers, spreading their learning.
In terms of the environmental impact, RAD provided a new life to 3.6 tonnes of e-waste while also avoiding a total of 460 tonnes of CO2e emissions. Huntly College praised the RAD program as one of its most popular subjects, where students didn't want to miss out on a single class.
An important aspect of RAD's initiative is supporting equitable digital access. The project considers how it can help reduce digital barriers and uplift Aotearoa’s standard of excellence. Investing in digital access and establishing trusted partnerships with stakeholders like businesses, government, schools, social service providers, libraries, marae, youth groups, and non-profits, RAD seeks to create a digitally skilled workforce. Encouraging others to support RAD’s mission, Scott commented, "We need funding. We need used laptops. We need repair clubs established in more schools and communities."
The RAD end-of-year report provides a look into the year's achievements, supporting the drive to further their kaupapa in 2024. For those interested in supporting RAD's mission, Scott encourages consideration of their cause moving forward into the new year.