Under the leadership of Council President Wesson and the City Council, the City of Los Angeles is extending the OurCycleLA project, a digital inclusion program designed to take advantage of the thousands of salvage computers from the City. The primary goals of the program are to
maximize the use of the computers while reducing the electronic waste footprint, provide job training to youths and employment opportunities for individuals with high barriers to employment, and help bridge the digital divide in Los Angeles. A limited number of refurbished computers are being distributed to qualified participants in various underserved communities throughout the City.
Joining forces with various government agencies, local schools and non-profit organizations, the Council Offices are working diligently to come up with creative ways to provide a level-playing field to the families or individuals in need by providing free refurbished computer, free or affordable Internet service options.
As a part of the digital inclusion outreach, OurcycleLA partnered with HACLA leading a federal initiative effort sponsored by the White House and HUD to extend affordable broadband access to families living in HUD-assisted housing communities. Through this joint-effort, over 500 refurbished computers and hotspot devices were provided to low-income households with K-12 students free of charge. In addition, close to 200 free refurbished computers were donated to the seniors living in the senior housing units and senior community center.
Other major accomplishments include over 3,000 PCs have been refurbished and distributed to low-income families and non-profit organizations; several thousands of older model computer systems have been properly de-manufactured and recycled; over 100 youths have been trained on refurbishing tasks and software/hardware configuration work; 10 temporary and full-time jobs have been created and nearly 1,000 families/individuals have attended the digital literacy training class.
Inspired by the innovative vision from the Council President’s Office and Mayor’s Offices, the OurCycleLA pilot program was launched on February 27, 2015. The OurCycleLA pilot program was a collaborative public private partnership between the City Elected Officials, government agencies, non-profit organizations, social enterprises and large corporate working together in a pursuit of a common goal – helping the disadvantaged communities and improving their quality of life by taking advantage of the power of the Internet and the technology available today.
As a longer-term mission, the City is working to create partnerships with businesses interested in donating computers and other technology they will no longer be using. OurCycleLA will help develop a model for future treatment of the City’s electronic waste that will benefit
low-income Angelenos, the environment, the local economy, and help develop the e-waste recycling sector in Los Angeles.