Hundreds of Local Students Receive Free Computers and Wi-Fi Helping Bridge Digital Divide

City Council President Herb Wesson teams up with city program, OurCycle LA, to refurbish pre-owned computers reducing E-waste while serving local community

LOS ANGELES- Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson surprised hundreds of local students today with a newly refurbished computer and four-years of free Wi-Fi. The complimentary computers are courtesy of a new program administered by the City of Los Angeles and founded by Wesson called OurCycle LA.

The OurCycle LA program refurbishes city-owned computers and distributes them to low-income individuals citywide. Qualified participants are required to attend a digital literacy training program. The program maximizes the use of existing computers, provides job training and employment for individuals with high barriers to employment, minimizes the city’s electronic waste footprint, and helps bridge the digital divide.

“We’ve found an innovative way to keep our city in the forefront of the green economy and provide underserved students with access to the tools that will improve their lives for years to come,” Wesson said. “Now more than ever it’s important that we make sure our young people are receiving the proper training in order to succeed in today’s technologically advanced world.”

Since its inception, OurCycle LA has distributed nearly $70,000 in technology and diverted almost $100,000 in E-waste, while also training Angelenos in computer technology and improving their digital literacy.

“We are living in a digital age. OurCycle LA is way to keep old City computers out of our landfills, give jobs to local youth to refurbish them, and provide families in need with the tools and training to digitally compete. It’s a win-win thanks to the leadership of Council President Wesson and Mayor Garcetti,” Ted Ross, General Manager, Information Technology Agency.

The program is a public-private partnership between the city, non-profit organizations and social enterprises. human-I-T, a local non-profit organization, refurbishes the city’s surplus computers promoting reuse and creating opportunities for program recipients. Other partners include the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, the city’s Information Technology Agency, Department of General Services, and Bureau of Sanitation.

“We’re honored to partner with OurCycle LA and equip Angelenos with an in-home computer, internet connection, and digital literacy training. Our system of refurbishing unwanted technology provides an
innovative approach to creating opportunities for those in need. OurCycle LA really ensures thousands
of families have better access to career and educational resources,” said Gabe Middleton, Co-
Founder/CEO, human-I-T.

OurCycle LA is developing a model for future treatment of the city’s electronic waste benefiting low income
Angelenos, the environment, the local economy, and developing the E-waste recycling sector in
Los Angeles.