Computer-refurbishing company opens new production facility in Richmond
By Robert Rogers
Contra Costa Times
Posted: 07/27/2012 01:47:45 PM PDT
Updated: 07/27/2012 02:26:59 PM PDT
A nonprofit company that refurbishes e-waste hosted more than 70 people in a grand opening event Thursday to celebrate its recent move into a 5,200-square-foot facility in south Richmond.
ReliaTech, which collects, recycles and refurbishes and then sells old computers and other electronics, moved into its new location about one month ago and should be able to process about 1,000 tons of e-waste and refurbish and resell 10,000 computers per year, said CEO Ben Delaney.
"It's a virtuous cycle," Delaney said. "We reduce waste and use that waste to help provide more computers and technology to more people."
The new Richmond facility in the 200 block of South Garrard Boulevard will employ four full-time workers and provide three-month paid internships to 100 people per year, Delaney said. The 8-year-old company has several distribution centers in the Bay Area, and the new Richmond facility will be followed by another retail outlet in Richmond later this year, Delaney said.
"We're growing, and we're getting more low-cost computers into our communities," Delaney said.
ReliaTech is an arm of the Stride Center, a nonprofit social and education venture working toward economic self-sufficiency for individuals and communities in the Bay Area. The new center received financial support from Chevron Corp. and the San Francisco Foundation.
"Chevron played a major role in urging us to open our center in Richmond," Delaney said.
Since 2009, Chevron has donated about $540,000 to the Stride Center, according to Chevron spokeswoman Melissa Ritchie.
Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, a member of the environmentally-focused Green Party and a frequent critic of Chevron, addressed the gathering Thursday. She praised ReliaTech for bringing education, jobs and an Earth-friendly business model to the city.
"This is a truly green business," McLaughlin said. "They reuse materials, keeping them out of landfills, and turn around and distribute computers that empower low-income community members."
During the ceremony, ReliaTech presented representatives from North Richmond's McGlothen Temple Church of God in Christ with a donation of eight refurbished Dell computers.
Contact Robert Rogers at 510-262-2726. Follow him at Twitter.com/roberthrogers