“We’re here and accepting computers,” Larry Herst wants the Durham community to know.
His company, Triangle Ecycling, originally began as a computer recycling service but has since grown into much more. Now – in addition to recycling – the company handles computer refurbishing, has a nonprofit of the same name and boasts a strong youth education program with Durham Public Schools, teaching hands-on computer repair skills to students.
What has not changed is Larry’s focus on the environment and the community. Of the money he makes from the refurbished machines either locally or online, 10% of profits head right back to DPS. Youth-focused local charities are regularly provided with Larry’s computers – no grants needed. And even if donated computers end up unsalvageable, they will never end up in a landfill; instead, they are recycled responsibly.
Since DPS offers only a few hands-on, non-core programs, Larry saw a space he could naturally fill with Triangle Ecycling and made moves to start their youth education program four years ago. Now, Triangle Ecycling is the second-largest trainer of DPS students in computer technology, regularly hosts seven to nine interns during the school year and has recently teamed up with Durham’s YouthWork Internship Program to offer paid internships for two to four students over the summer.
Instead of asking for donations for his cause, Larry simply asks for technology already on the chopping block. “This is a great way to give back to the community with stuff you were going to get rid of anyway,” he says. Currently, Triangle Ecycling receives about 1,000 machine donations a month, but if that number grew, so could education opportunities.
“We’re really only limited by the number of computers we get,” Larry says of the internship program. Receiving more computers from technology companies, whose older models may have five or so years of life left in them, is ideal for Triangle Ecycling. “We’re just looking for computers,” Larry says. “That’s how we help kids.”
Triangle Ecycling is located at 2717 Western Bypass, and their computer drop-off hours are Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The new site accompanies a service launch for Triangle Ecycling: warehouse space rentals. Those interested can call 919-414-3041.