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Goodwill will restart selling Good-to-Go Computers

| Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, 1:36 p.m.
Goodwill Industries Good-to-Go Computers contain a tower, keyboard, flat-screen monitor and more. Saturday November 17, 2012. Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review

Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania is putting ready-to-go, boxed computer systems on its store shelves.

Goodwill stopped offering refurbished, donated computers — sold at a discount as Good-to-Go Computers — about 18 months ago because it could not keep up with demand, spokesman David J. Tobiczyk said.

Now computer donations are increasing.

“I think it's just a greater general awareness that computers should be recycled. … And folks like Goodwill are able to take it and handle it for you,” Tobiczyk said.

Electronic recycling will become mandatory on Jan. 24. That's when the 2010 Pennsylvania Covered Device Recycling Act, which bans disposal of computers, laptops, monitors and other electronic devices in landfills, takes effect.

The law likely is contributing to an increase in donations of electronics to Goodwill, said Bora Caliskan, the nonprofit's director of operations.

Lisa Kasianowitz, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Environmental Protection, said removing the devices from landfills reduces the risk that heavy metals will leak into soil. Computers can contain lead, cadmium and mercury.

“Hopefully, more businesses and consumers will start to think of new ways to recycle and reuse electronics,” Kasianowitz said.

Each Good-to-Go system, sold for $199.99, is boxed. It includes a Dell Optiplex desktop computer with 2.6 gigahertz processor, Windows 7 Home Premium operating system, LCD flat-screen monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, set-up instructions and other equipment.

Goodwill refurbishes and sells computers to generate money for its job training and education programs.

Operational changes helped make it possible for Goodwill to restart its computer sales, Tobiczyk said.

When Goodwill moved its headquarters to Lawrenceville two years ago, it maintained ComputerWorks stores there and on the South Side. It closed the South Side store last summer, enabling Goodwill to concentrate on the Good-to-Go line, he said.

The computers will be sold in all Goodwill regional stores, excluding Lawrenceville, where the ComputerWorks store will offer technical assistance for any computers bought from Goodwill.

The Good-to-Go price dropped from $249.99, and flat screens replaced large, boxy monitors, Tobiczyk said. Systems are covered by a 90-day limited hardware warranty.

Tory N. Parrish is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5662 or tparrish@tribweb.com.

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