SocialBox.Biz now accepting old Apple products for Digital inclusion tech re-use initiative in London UK

A SocialBox.Biz Blog post update by Alex,  October 1st, 2016  ( Updated: June, October 2020 and April 2021)

donate_old_ipad_londonSocialBox.Biz, a London-based technological social impact community interest venture on a mission to collect old disused no longer needed but still useful laptops and hand-held tablet devices to those in need, this week announced they are interested in collecting more Apple products, Apple MacBooks, Apple chargers, iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Apple iBooks ahead of the holiday seasons and beyond. This invitation is open to both individuals and organisation. 

Determined to provide a channel out of digital exclusion for society’s most marginalised members – homeless, elderly, refugees and others who are unable to afford  computers  – SocialBox.Biz partners with local businesses for laptop computer donations collections, and in turn, places the donation in the hands that need them most.

“We want to collect every kind of laptop brand, whether it’s Apple Mac, Lenovo, Acer, Toshiba, Dell, HP, Sony and more, to ensure as many people as possible in accommodation services have a chance at digital inclusion,” commented the team of SocialBox.Biz. “In order to do that, we are now accepting all kind of Apple computer product donation for reuse, rehoming and donating instead of recycling, including old iPhones, iPads, iPods, MacBooks and any other kind of Apple Computer device that can provide access to much needed tools to those who have nothing.”

SocialBox.Biz’s expansion to include Apple Mac products is designed to spur even more interest among Londoners and London based businesses, public schools, private schools, colleges and other institutions such as local councils and universities who are looking for a good cause  when they are refreshing their office tech.

Digital Inclusion relates to the ability for an individual to have access to the digital world today. Whether it be through a mobile device, laptop, tablet, or PC, Iphone, Ipad, MacBook etc. One of these expensive electronic items are needed, plus Internet or WiFi.

Most destitute individuals such as refugees, older people on small pensions , and families operating at the lowest levels of the socioeconomic ladder may barely have food for a single meal a day, let alone access to a new iPhone. The result? They have no possible way of ever creating a resume, applying to most jobs, and researching information that could make or break their dire situation.

Waste prevention and reduction via reuse and donations is one of the convincing reasons to reuse and donate products especially now with the UK Climate Change Act in effect it can help those London based organisations such  London based businesses, schools, private schools and colleges and institutions such as local councils and universities. SocialBox.Biz locally focused solution for old but still usable Apple Mac products is also helping them with the Climate Change Act problems by reducing Scope 3 emissions. 

SocialBox.Biz team came across an article that was originally published in the London UK Daily Telegraph on 5 Jan 2016 about being thoughtful when discarding hi-tech goods in post-Christmas clear-outs. The article quoted the charity Waste Watch that issued the plea about reusing old iPads, bikes, vacuum cleaners, tools, mobile phones, televisions and games in the days since Christmas as families try to create cupboard space.

It urged consumers to think carefully about the way in which unwanted presents and items that have been replaced with newer, shinier models can be used by others…

The charity warned that abandoning items, even to be recycled, is a waste of the resources used to manufacture and deliver them in the first place.

Allison Ogden-Newton, the charity’s chief executive, said in this article: “We are trying to improve on a disposable society, to encourage people to get more value out of things by putting a bit of sensible thought into how someone else could benefit from an unwanted item.

“Clutter is becoming a modern phenomenon, particularly as we are buying an awful lot more. But brand-new things will be broken down to their constituent parts by recycle plants and a lot of energy is used in that process.

“The spirit of Christmas lives on if people think carefully about what they could do with their cast-offs. Even if it is given away for free online, someone else will get use from it at no extra cost.”   It was reported in the article.

What about exporting old computers in bulk  ?

Generally scrap brokers specialize in exporting large quantities of old items and is some times called ‘residual value’. This is an option available and markets for bulk quantities of used computer hardware are generally abroad meaning that old items are packed into containers and shipped outside of the UK.  ‘Local’ is the word that is found more and more in CSR and ESG reports and something that is becoming increasingly important to investors and consumers. Reuse and donating more items locally helps reduce Scope 3 emissions and boost both ESG and CSR. Whilst we recognize that there are markets for used tech around the globe we at SocialBox.Biz prioritize and promote local social impact as a better option for our clients community and the planet.

Preventing waste saves natural resources as well as the energy used in making new products. Studies show that reusing and rehoming a computer rather than replacing it with a new one saves 139 pounds of wastes, 7,300 gallons of water, and 2,300 kilowatts of energy needed in making a new one. There is a massive further reduction due to local reuse and local rehoming and local donating because it help reduce the number of containers filled with old tech going abroad – thus reducing CO2 emissions especially Scope 3 aspect.

Scope 3 -What is it ?

According to Carbon Trust Scope 3 emissions include: Purchased goods and services, Transportation and distribution (up and downstream).

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is CarbonTrust-1024x545.jpg

Picture: UK Carbon Trust Scope 3 Emissions.

Once items are donated to the London-based social enterprise SocialBox.Biz,  they arrange for suitable devices to be handed to homeless and elderly in accommodation services. The digital access then gives them a chance to apply to jobs and communicate with family and friends. This also means more items are staying locally and being shipped in containers far away.

SocialBox.Biz is encouraging everyone to share their initiative companies and with friends and family, and consider donating outdated Apple products for re-use via this initiative for the homeless, refugees and older people in isolation who can not afford new computers.

July 2020 Update: SocialBox.Biz team received this case study from one of the older people charity partners:

The iPad have been matched with older service users to enable them to connect with friends and family. This has been especially important during this difficult time when many older people are more isolated than usual. We have first talked to the service user over the phone to find out their interests and what they would like to be able to use the iPad for. We have then set them up so they are ‘ready to use’ on delivery. We hold a handover/training session at their home (in full P.P.E.) and then follow up with telephone support as needed.

Innovation: One older service user has been able to join a zoom meeting for the first time and have a virtual ‘coffee morning’ with friends. Another service user has been able to use i-player to catch up on TV series she has wanted to watch ! Another has been able to watch You-Tube videos of their favorite singer; we even set her screensaver with an image of the singer, which was a nice surprise when she turned the device on!  

If you’d like to learn more about partnering with SocialBox.Biz, contact us today. 

For more information:

SocialBox.Biz Exploring How Universities and Organisations Handle Outdated IT – October 08, 2020 Update

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, October 8, 2020 / — The team at SocialBox.Biz has been exploring the ways in which local universities and organisations are handling their outdated IT and encouraging universities and other organisations to engage in smart donation programs such as the Laptops for Homeless Initiative for purposeful reuse of old yet still usable tech from these large entities and businesses.

For example, SocialBox.Biz connected with University of Edinburgh to learn about their circular economy for IT; this process ensures that old IT equipment isn’t wasted. Instead, it’s given new purpose through multiple local programs that are in place. Altogether, these programs help the university reduce Scope 3 emissions while helping those in need. SocialBox.Biz has been a major advocate for programs of this nature for years. Many excellent studies are also available on the University of Edinburgh website highlighting just how much energy and natural resources goes into that processes of making new electronics and especially how and where they are sourced.

A University of Edinburgh spokesperson said: “Digital inclusion has been one of the pledges made and delivered on by the University under past Social Impact Pledges, and continues to be a strategic priority for the University through its community engagement work. As a founding member of the independent monitoring organisation, Electronics Watch, the University has been working to make its electronics use more socially responsible.”

SocialBox.Biz team commented: “We have been helping organisations meet their sustainability goals and we know that local social impact is very important for Universities to show non education benefits that their institutions bring to the society to attract students and grants. For councils social obligation is even more real when it comes to improving local areas as it is well in within the remit of local councils to help people in need with digital inclusion.”

How to Donate Apple Products – A guide by SocialBox.Biz Community Interest Company – London, UK 

April 2021 Update

Apple is one of the most recognized and innovative names in the world of technology. The company is known for launching newer models of the MacBooks, iPhones and iPads with enhanced features and improved designs every year. Now, as people consider upgrading their computers and phones, they might consider what to do with their old devices.

If you are wondering why you should prioritize donating over recycling your old Mac or iPhone over other options, these are a few reasons that might convince you.

Reduce Electronic Waste

Donating products which are no longer in use can help reduce the amount of electronic waste or e-waste ending up in landfills greatly. According to a report produced by the United Nations, there has been a 21 percent rise in e-waste between 2014 and 2019.

Why donating is better than recycling ?

Because many items are still usable, not everything needs recycling. Recycling is better than landfill but it still burns a lot of energy, whilst reusing and donating does not require for burning of extra energy for example.

Here are some more reasons:

  • Promotes a Sense of Community

One of the biggest reasons why you should donate your old devices is social responsibility. You are actually making a conscious choice to not only protect your surroundings and the planet but also help members of your community.

There are quite a few people who face challenges in accessing computers or smartphones due to various reasons. You can donate your old Apple products to those struggling members of your community such as the homeless or refugees who may not be able to afford any. Sometimes, educational institutions and businesses may be looking to upgrade their Macs or iPads and shift to new ones.  They can give the used gadgets away to organizations which run active initiatives to help the community and makes sure that donated products are safe for use. for instance, promotes charitable donations from clients who have upgraded to newer models or Macs, iPhones or any other equipment. The company collects and updates the used devices and donates them to those in need.

  • Easy and Secure Process

For Apple products, data protection is actually quite easy and makes the device ready to be donated. Take the MacBook for example. You can start by storing your images and files to another hard drive or backing them up to the iCloud account. Once that is done, you can sign out and de-authorize the device from iTunes. After that, it is safe to wipe the hard drive clean and reinstall the macOS in the computer.

As far as iPhones are concerned, you can just press Erase all Content by going to settings and finding the option under Reset.

To Sum Up

These are some of the reasons why to donate your Apple products. it boost sustainability, and can be done in a short span of time. By donating your Apple Mac or iPhone, you can also assist other people who might not have access to technology and make their lives easier.

Contact SocialBox.Biz Today !


10 responses to “SocialBox.Biz now accepting old Apple products for Digital inclusion tech re-use initiative in London UK”

  1. Martin says:

    Great initiative! I’ve owned 7-8 laptops and Apple Ipads and Iphones so far and I’ve always donated the ones I didn’t need; we have a shelter near my apartment so it was easy for me to find someone in need of a decent laptop there. Kudos to you for trying to make a change!

  2. Jamie says:

    I remember reading somewhere how a homeless guy who got an old laptop started learning programming and soon found work as a programmer. This is yet another proof how far you can go with so little… So keep up the great work, guys! Good to know about the donating services is also available from social enterprise charitable sector instead of just recycling Apple computer products available for businesses and for domestic customers in London and UK. Donating means reusing and that is always more environmentally friendly as it does not need any additional energy to reuse but for recycling it does.Yes donate old Apple Mac computer devices: laptop, tablet, or PC, Iphone, Ipad, MacBook.

  3. Melanie says:

    Hope you guys will do this next year too, I missed the wagon this year #bummer In fact, can’t I do this right now? I’ve contacted you to see if I can donate my laptop this month. Will spared the word about Apple tech productions Iphone, Ipad, MacBook doantions rather then recycling.

  4. Denise says:

    I’ve always been a huge advocate for donating stuff you don’t need, from clothing to IT devices and home appliances. It crushes my soul to see boxes of old stuff lingering on the street when they could have been put to good use and donated.

  5. Londoner_Bob says:

    I am very passionate about social enterprise and digital inclusion and donating those disused no longer needed but still useful computers and laptops and Apple products is a great initiative.

    Being familiar with the Inclusion through Innovation report on how the innovative use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) can be used to promote equality of opportunity and
    improve service delivery and outcomes for society’s most disadvantaged groups as well
    as those who live in deprived areas will attempt to summarise it and and share some of that and hopefully it is useful to someone;
    The specific aims of the Inclusion through Innovation project were to:
    • Identify future trends in ICT and innovations which will address social
    • Investigate the need for new and innovative models of service delivery for
    excluded groups, and how ICT could support these;
    • Review how better links could be made between existing information held in
    different places about vulnerable and excluded people, to ensure that best
    use is made of what we know already;
    • Explore how cultural and legal issues such as data protection should be taken
    forward to enable delivery of the above;
    • Investigate how trends in ICT provision can be influenced to prevent further
    growth of the ‘digital divide’; and,
    • Address the ethical concerns arising from the operation of some technological
    solutions and the risks that ICT can pose as a driver of exclusion.
    This project forms part of the Unit’s current work programme, which aims to ensure that
    public services are delivered effectively to the most excluded groups in society.

    It consisted of both open ended and closed questions and was split into
    four sections according to theme. The four themes were ‘Trends and inequality’,
    ‘Narrowing the digital divide’, ‘Improving service delivery’, and ‘Sharing information on
    service users’. The questionnaire was distributed to a wide range of individuals and
    organisations that were considered to have a particular interest and expertise in this
    subject area. Respondents to the Inclusion through innovation questionnaire raised a number of key
    issues, which are summarised below.
    A widening digital divide
    The majority of respondents (77%) agreed that current trends in ICT computer technology are likely to widen the digital divide and increase levels of inequality faced by socially excluded groups.
    However, despite this view, one in five respondents felt that there are currently initiatives
    in place that aim to address the digital divide through, for example, providing socially
    excluded groups with computer training. The main reasons for the view that the digital divide
    is widening primarily relate to:
    • The costs of ICT equipment: computer equipment (both hardware and software) is
    thought to be prohibitively expensive for many socially excluded people who are
    often on low incomes. There is a need for financial support to increase people’s
    access to technology, and for a reduction in the cost of internet connection.
    • Lack of access to computers and internet: A lack of physical access to ICT facilities such as
    personal computers (PCs), the internet, and broadband poses a further barrier.
    Certain groups, such as elderly or disabled people, are thought to have a
    particularly strong need for increased in-home access to technology.
    • Lack of training in the use of technology: Lack of training and poor basic skills
    often prevent socially excluded people from utilizing technology. Many
    disadvantaged people are unaware of or uncomfortable taking part in training
    courses, and lack confidence in the use of technology, which acts as an
    additional barrier. There is thought to be a strong need for increased training and
    support, particularly in schools.
    • Market issues: Market issues, such as the tendency for ICT developers to focus
    more on more profitable mainstream markets than disadvantaged groups is
    another key cause of the widening digital divide. There is a view that developers
    do not often target their services or products to meet the particular needs of
    socially excluded people which therefore contributes to low demand or uptake.
    Computers are – and will continue to – improve service delivery
    Despite these concerns, respondents expressed a strong belief that all kinds of ICT including laptopls and Apple devices has an
    important role to play in improving service delivery to socially excluded groups. The
    main forms of technology currently used to do this are:
    • The internet: the internet is seen as providing access to an increasing number
    of services, such as service information, online training, and hosting online
    forums. People with few or no qualifications and unemployed people are seen as
    key audiences for development in this area.
    • Mobile technology: mobile technologies (mobile phones like Apple Iphones and Ipads) are also
    commonly used to deliver services to disadvantaged groups, largely due to their
    relative low cost, and widespread use, particularly among younger people. Some
    respondents felt that mobile technologies provide an important point of contact for
    vulnerable people or those without stable accommodation.
    However, most respondents felt that computers and information technology is not currently being used effectively in service
    provision and feel that there is scope for development in this area. In particular,
    increased investment in and development of the internet, online learning and mobile
    phones are key areas that respondents believe could significantly improve the services
    that socially excluded people currently receive. Specific suggestions to do this include
    effectively targeting services to individual needs, increasing the efficient access to
    information, and facilitating greater mobility amongst front-line staff.

  6. bobster_blogger says:

    When you upgrade to a new Apple Iphone, laptops, Ipad what to do with the older one? Instead of letting it sit in a cabinet consider donating it. Working technology can help charitable organisations as they aren’t exactly rolling in cash and would would re-purpose older devices so this is a great initiative. Otherwise our old Apple devices and laptop computers become useless and just occupy space. Unless your computer is completely useless and does not work at all for you or for anyone else, you should definitely avoid throwing it away because you never know who might find it useful.. The technology nowadays is increasing and upgrading with such a fast pace that after every few years some new and faster technology or processor arises and we have to switch our PC and upgrade ourselves to a better and faster one. Big powerful systems get available at such low prices that people do not think twice before buying a new computer. This is valid or soon be valid for most consumer devices and electronics including Apple and Apple MacBool, Apple Ibook, Apple Iphone, Apple Pro, Apple TV, Imac, MacBook Air. These days of ecological awareness of carbon footprints and environmental changes, recycling and reusing is becoming an ever important part of our lifestyle. Donation of Apple electronics and Apple products is excellent as they would normally be just siting around no longer used. Apart from charitable benefits to know more about why we need to donate and reuse laptops we also need to inspect what is inside. The basic parts of a laptop are a miniaturised version of their desktop PC counterparts, similar in function but adapted to mobile use and designed for lower consumption of energy but still should be reused and donated first.

  7. webstevey says:

    I;ve read about Apple Connect-ED for schools donating some new iPads, and Apple Professional Learning Specialists many of whom are former teachers and maintain teaching certificates, provide administrators, teachers, and students with tailored, onsite support and guidance. However its great to know what other other options there are for donating older but still very much useful models of Ipads and other Apple mac device. This is important to know that we donation and reuse is possible as we we keep replacing items even quicker than before.

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