Hempfield’s recycler recovers old electronics; firm donates laptops for repair

In a 4,000-square-foot warehouse behind a small Hempfield office are several large rooms filled with boxes and boxes containing thousands of pieces of used electronics, once the lifeblood of the modern computerized office.

CyberCrunch LLC has literally tons of old laptops, desktop computers, keyboards, mice, televisions, hard drives, desk phones, batteries, and monitors crammed into huge boxes in its Roseytown Road warehouse. Once vital pieces of office equipment are now in various stages to be recycled for reuse or shipped to a converter to remove metals or valuable parts.

CyberCrunch, a Commonweath Recycling Services Inc. company, serves companies that are eliminating “end-of-life” electronics by “wiping” sensitive data from computer hard drives and other equipment containing data before recycling for reuse or sending. to other processors, said Christopher Churley, head of operations at CyberCrunch LLC.

However, it’s not a site where the public can leave old electronic devices, like Westmoreland Cleanways in Unity, Churley said.

His clients include healthcare organizations, financial institutions, and large corporations across the state.

CyberCrunch serves as a first-stage recycler, Churley said. The task of removing valuable minerals from electronics is left to downstream recyclers, she said.

“They provide us with electronic recycling services. It is a way for us to dispose of our electronic equipment, “said Benjamin Cerro, director of technical services at Excela Health.” We can keep it out of the landfill. “

As more people worked from home and used electronics, Cerro said Excela sought to extend the life of its electronic equipment, in part due to the difficulty in obtaining new equipment. But it also had to keep up with current technologies on its more than 6,500 computing devices.

Excela Health devices that have been sent to CyberCrunch, like those of other customers, are separated into giant boxes scattered throughout the warehouse space. The materials are sorted into around 60 categories. They are processed by about 16-18 of the site’s 25 workers, Churley said.

“Anything with a plug can be recycled,” Churley said.

Excela Health delivered 33,200 pounds of old electronic devices to CyberCrunch in 2021 to remove all personal data. The year before, when pandemic restrictions had been in place for nine months, he sent £ 29,000 to clean. Prior to the pandemic, Excela Health shipped approximately 28,540 pounds of old electronics to CyberCrunch.

CyberCrunch officials said the amount of recycled electronics equates to 18 tons of water and emissions savings and over $ 42,600 in environmental cost savings.

Donation to the needy

CyberCrunch updated five old laptops and added new southwestern Pennsylvania human services software, said Barbara Flack, director of client services at CyberCrunch.

The laptops, as good as new, will go to the Welcome Home shelter in Greensburg, which provides a place to live for families and single women who are homeless. Lyndsay Burrik, the agency’s executive director, said residents will be able to bring laptops with them when they leave Welcome Home.

“These computers will go into the hands of the people who need them most,” Burrik said. “This will mean a lot to them.”

They can use laptops to schedule doctor’s appointments and job interviews, among other activities, Cerro said.

The Welcome Home shelter has been specified as the recipient of the laptops by Excela Health and the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, said Patti Buhl, a spokesperson for Excela Health.

“It will help get those people back on their feet,” Cerro said.

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at 724-836-5252, jnapsha@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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