OurCycleLA Distributes Free Computers & Internet to Low-income Families
The OurcycleLA program works to provide thousands of computers formerly used by the City to low-income families for free while also minimizing the city’s electronic waste footprint. The project is possible due to the leadership of Council President Herb J. Wesson Jr. and Councilmember Bob Blumenfield as well as Ted Ross, General Manager of the Information Technology Agency (ITA) and Tony Royster, General Manager of the General Services Department.
Councilman Blumenfield hosted a event on October 1 to give out these free refurbished computers and WiFi hotspot devices to 85 students from low-income families in Reseda. ITA’s GM Ted Ross and the GSD’s GM Tony Royster were also present to assist and show support throughout the event.
Under the leadership of the Offices of the Mayor and City Council, the City of Los Angeles has implemented the OurCycleLA program to take advantage of the thousands of salvage computers from the City. The goals of the program are to maximize the use of the computers, provide job training and employment for individuals with high barriers to employment, minimize the City’s electronic waste footprint, and help bridge the digital divide in Los Angeles. The limited supply of free refurbished computers will be distributed to low-income individuals or families in Baldwin Village and Koreatown.
OurCycle LA Processing FacilityQualified participants will be required to attend a digital literacy training program and sign up for low cost internet services. The refurbished computers will also be distributed to non-profit organizations throughout the City that operate public access computer centers serving disadvantaged communities.
OurCycle LA is a collaborative public private partnership between the City, non-profits, social enterprises and large corporate partners. The program was launched February 27, 2015. These computers and the required training will help participants take advantage of available technology, as well as additional digital and financial training. OurCycle LA is also providing job training and career opportunities for individuals with traditionally high barriers to employment – as well as creating local jobs.
Computer LabLonger-term, the City is working to create partnerships with businesses interested in donating computers and other technology they will no longer be using. OurCycle LA will help develop a model for future treatment of the City’s electronic waste that will benefit low-income Angelinos, the environment, the local economy, and help develop the e-waste recycling sector in Los Angeles.