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"Recycling" computers was a natural fit for Randy Ross, who has been in the business of refurbishing and selling laser printers and toner cartridges since 1988.

"When you consider how much energy goes into making a computer, that's the ultimate recycling," Ross said.In May, Ross opened Use It Again Computers at 9009 S. State Street. The store, which in most respects resembles a retail computer store, is a stocked with refurbished computers that cost roughly half the cost of new merchandise.

The company also offers some new computer equipment and accessories.

"Our concept is devoted to the trailing edge of technology. There are plenty of old machines that work well for most people," said Ross, who also is president and owner of Laser-Sharp Inc.

The company boasts a beginner's special that includes a computer and printer for under $200.

Ross believes most people don't need the very latest in computer technology to serve their needs, which mostly involve word processing, reconciling checkbooks and playing computer games.

For average people, buying a brand new computer system "is like putting them in a Ferrari," Ross said. "They never maximize its potential. Most people buy a 486 and for most people, a 386 is all they need," Ross said.

Use it Again Computers refurbishes, upgrades and sells used equipment in its store. All reconditioned computer equipment is covered by a 90-day warranty and the store provides ongoing support and service.

"Our concept is, we sell good reconditioned equipment with a warranty with all the same service and support available when you buy a new computer," Ross said.

The store also buys computers from users who wish to upgrade their systems. "People come in here with brand new stuff and they're in a financial crunch," said store manager Mike Williams.