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Swindon social enterprise warns of a serious shortage of laptops

Swindon company the Green Machine are warning of a serious shortage of laptops bought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the current situation bringing serious supply chain issues for new computers as many factories in China have been shut down for long periods of time, resulting in new stock in low supply,  companies are turning to the refurbished machines market.  And now companies have had to mobilise their whole workforce to work from home a large market share of the tech available has gone and the demand has been phenomenal.   And as news of school budgets being cut resulting in a serious lack of equipment for pupils, this could bring further demand from schools wishing to buy refurbished equipment.  

With demand so high for online sales of new or refurbished stock, prices are becoming ridiculous and as the majority of second-hand tech equipment comes from Recycling Companies, with lots of customers’ offices “closed for business”, less surplus equipment is being collected to replenish this supply.  So stock in the refurbished equipment market is also becoming increasingly low.

Managing Director Simon Crisp says “The situation in my opinion is toughest for small businesses and charities, with restricted budgets and cash flow, who are trying to support their smaller workforces to be able to work from home.”

“We normally look after this sector and have contracts and relationships in place with many organisations which fall under the SME / Charity sector which we supply with donated or low cost equipment. Second user equipment is now in very short supply and demand so great it is selling at a high premium. For example, an old Laptop that would normally cost you £50 on Ebay is now £100-150. Prices have doubled if not tripled in some cases.”

“All of the local schools, charities and businesses that we support and donate to are struggling, and we continue to provide what we can in terms of tech to help them.” 

He further adds “Our own situation too has had a bumpy ride.  Green Machine used to be able to supply, loan and donate laptops and computer equipment to SME’s and charities all the time.  Unfortunately, we lost most of our stock when our premises had a break-in back in April.  With prices taking such a sharp increase and making very limited collections of equipment, we have found it almost impossible to replenish our stock and continue supporting the sectors we have helped for almost 10 years.”

“We are therefore reaching out to the Thames Valley community to ask for their help.  Old tech however big or small is needed; if your office is lying dormant, if you have a pile of old tech that could be of use to someone else right now, please let us collect it from you.  We have various accreditation and certification in place to be able to carry out our work and this has allowed us to work on Government contracts and premises such as UKAEA – Atomic Energy UK based in Culham, and Slough Borough Council.  No job is too big either, we processed 173 tons of kit for WHSmith as part of a decommission project in 2018.”

“We will collect equipment from your premises efficiently and effectively and we will refurbish it to a high standard. and make sure it goes to help and support a small business, a charity or a child who needs it for school work.”

Green Machine is an award winning IT recycling, IT support and IT training academy, dedicated to Refurbish, Recycle, Reuse. We believe there is a useful life for the IT equipment businesses dispose of and we want to use unwanted IT for the common good. We support a number of charities, VSO’s and SME’s with refurbished, high quality equipment serviced by trainees we lead into IT apprenticeships.

For more information about our recycling services please read here: or email

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