Two well-loved Edinburgh establishments are working together to provide a simple and convenient way for members of the public to pass on their old IT equipment using a uniquely designed Donation Box as The Edinburgh Remakery is joining forces with Filmhouse in the fight to eliminate electronic waste across the city.
With COP26 being hosted in Glasgow and with Edinburgh’s ambitious net zero targets, all eyes are on Scotland to take the lead in implementing infrastructural changes to tackle the climate emergency. More and more Edinburgh-based organisations are taking significant steps not only to reduce their own business carbon emissions, but to make it easier for their patrons and team members to make positive changes.
The Edinburgh Remakery, a social enterprise based in Leith which specialises in waste reduction through repair and reuse, has been taking in end-of-life IT equipment since its origins in 2016. This partnership with Filmhouse, which is based in the West End of Edinburgh, will make it easier for members of the public outwith Leith to drop-off their old electronics for reuse. With Filmhouse being once again open to the public and showing regular film screenings, the cinema is perfectly placed to hold one of the Edinburgh Remakery’s Donation Boxes.
These Donation Boxes have been designed specifically for people to drop in old electronic devices – including laptops, smart phones, and tablets – whilst preventing them from being damaged in the process to ensure as many devices as possible can be repaired and reused. The Donation Box will be conveniently placed in Filmhouse foyer for members of the public to use.
Elaine Brown, CEO of The Edinburgh Remakery said: “Electronics have become somewhat of a disposable commodity in our society, to the point where many of us have old devices lying around that we just don’t know what to do with. Electronic waste is also incredibly damaging to the environment, and people can be concerned about the security of their personal data, therefore disposing of old devices safely becomes very problematic. Our donation boxes give people an easy and secure way to pass on their old devices for reuse.
“Not only is it a win for the environment, but it’s also a win for the community as a portion of the donated devices, once repaired, will be gifted to families and individuals across the city who are suffering from digital poverty, social isolation and financial hardship. A portion will also be used to train members of our community in valuable IT repair skills, targeting primarily those further from the job market to boost valuable employability skills as well as confidence. Tackling waste and social inequalities in one. A win for people and planet.”
Rehan Yousuf, Community Engagement Manager at Filmhouse said: “Edinburgh Filmhouse is delighted to be in partnership with the Edinburgh Remakery as their first partner in the repurposing project.
“The pandemic has heightened digital poverty, with many people from disadvantaged communities being left behind. We’re aiming to target the challenges of digital exclusion for older people and will be working in tandem with community groups dedicated to overcoming this.
“Whether it’s an old laptop, tablet or mobile lying in a drawer at home somewhere, people can hand it to Filmhouse via the donation box at our Box Office. The devices will then be repurposed by the Edinburgh Remakery, then distributed by the Edinburgh Filmhouse. Members of the public who donate their devices will receive a free cinema ticket.
“With many people receiving new devices for the Christmas season, there’s never been a better time to hand in those that are no longer needed. We’ll put them to very good use!”
Not only will this partnership have a significant positive impact on the environment by reducing electronic waste – the fastest growing waste stream in the UK, and one of the most polluting – but it also benefits the wider community in tackling digital inequalities. The Edinburgh Remakery has committed to use 25% of the reusable devices that are donated to them in this way to benefit the community, gifting them to disadvantaged individuals are families across Edinburgh who are experiencing financial hardship and need assistance to get online and access essential support services.
To ensure security, The Edinburgh Remakery technicians use a US Government Department of Defence approved algorithm to securely wipe any data from donated equipment to ensure all data is destroyed and is non-retrievable, giving added peace of mind to donors.
The project will be launched in conjunction with the EIFF Youth Eco-Weekender event at Edinburgh Filmhouse. The EIFF Youth Eco Weekender takes place over Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th November and explores the climate crisis on film.
Featuring a selection of curated short films from the Film Access Scotland’s Climate Challenge: 1.5 Degrees Films project, there’s a captioned screening of the classic eco-film The Day After Tomorrow with a BSL-supported introduction from EIFF Young Critics on Saturday.
While on Sunday, a captioned screening of the Gerard Butler action thriller Geostorm will be introduced by EIFF Young Climate Activists and features a Q&A afterwards. Both of which will be BSL-supported. All screenings are priced at £2 to ensure ticket prices aren’t a barrier for attendance to make it as inclusive as possible.
Tickets are available from www.filmhousecinema.com, or can be picked up in person. Alternatives include calling Box Office on 0131 228 2688.
EIFF Youth is funded through the PLACE Programme, a partnership between the Scottish Government through Creative Scotland, the City of Edinburgh Council and the Edinburgh Festivals.
EIFF Young Activists is supported by the Hugh Fraser Foundation.
The EIFF Young Critics programme is supported by James and Morag Anderson