From digital waste to social gold

Technology of Peace

From digital waste to social gold

August 25, 2020 upcycle upgrade uplift 0


Due to Covid-19, schools and universities all over the world closed for an indefinite lapse of time. 

It required students to learn from home except that it was not possible for those who did not have access to a computer and the Internet.

On the other hand, many computers are put aside, not being used. 

Almost any computer can be “recycled” as long as it has more than 1 Gb RAM. Activities such as Zoom, writing, coding or surfing the Internet are feasible.


In April 2020, TOP Global initiated a 5 month pilot action in Israel where:

  • Companies and individuals are donating computers and additional equipment (monitors, keyboards, etc.)
  • Technical teams from 3 different schools recycled the computers
  • 100s of computers were offered to families and children in need, in exchange of volunteering hours for their own community

From Digital Waste to Social Gold 257/2020 from Ran Levy-Yamamori on Vimeo.



Step 1: Getting computers

Companies and individuals need to regularly buy new powerful computers due to the growing demand of Windows operating system. While computers with 2-4 Gb RAM can hardly work with Windows, they work well with Linux based operating systems. 

Step 2: Upgrading the computers

A TOP expert will be training youth (as young as 9-10) and teachers of a school on how to upgrade the computers. 

They form a technical independent team that is self sufficient and is able to then train others. This step involves: receiving the computer, going through a checklist for possible defects and eventually changing parts with the help of a volunteered technician, installing the new operating system and additional programs and setting parameters. This is a process that takes 1-3 hours and 10 year old pupils are perfectly able to accomplish those tasks. Note that the content of the original hard disks is completely deleted when installing Linux.

Step 3: Community work: organizing time bank

The school organizes along with the community or the city council a time bank with various skills and activities that youth and families can provide on one hand and need on the other hand. The basic idea is to give 30 hours of volunteering in exchange for the computer. Volunteering may be very diverse: from helping old people, mentoring younger pupils etc.

Step 4: Providing computers to specific people

The school identifies the pupils or families in need for a computer. Then, they receive basic training on how to use the computer.



The community around the school becomes more active and all pupils are now remotely connected to their schools


“Needy” people are not a burden but they contribute to their community.

“Trash” is no longer trash but has value.


There is no need to throw away computers that might impact the environment.


It is now possible for communities, city councils to implement this TOP project in any part of the world.
Contact us for more details.