What Happens to Your Computer When it’s Recycled?

The items that Free Geek cannot reuse, refurbish, or send to one of our carefully selected reuse partners are passed through our recycling department. Our staff and volunteers manually disassemble desktop computers and many other devices into components such as steel, plastic, insulated copper wire and circuit boards. Other items are left in-tact and shipped to our recycling partners who we have verified to be handling the materials in an environmentally responsible manner.

How We Choose Our Recyclers:

Ribbon cable a-go-go

Free Geek has a strict downstream vendor selection program which we carefully follow to ensure that potentially toxic Focus Materials are tracked to the end of the recycling chain and only pass through facilities that can document legal compliance and high standards for protecting human health and the environment.


We regularly turn down potential e-waste buyers who offer high prices but cannot demonstrate and document the highest standards of responsible recycling all the way through the smelting process.

Most of our downstream vendors are certified to the R2 or e-Stewards standards for responsible recycling.
We require the our e-waste vendors conform to:
  • Free Geek’s Focus Material Management Plan which includes a Prohibition on Energy Recovery, Incineration, and Land Disposal of Focus Materials

  • A documented system to manage environmental, health, and safety risks and legal requirements

  • Compliance with all applicable environmental, legal,  health and safety requirements and maintain a list of its environmental permits and copies of each

  • A system documenting the flow of all Focus Materials down the Recycling Chain
  • Allow Free Geek to confirm compliance with each of its relevant downstream vendors, thereby establishing that each vendor in the Recycling Chain conforms to our requirements.


Our downstream due diligence process, Environmental, health, and safety management systems  (EHSMS), and legal compliance are audited annually by a 3rd party and are consistent with the Oregon e-cycles Environmental Managment Practices.


Free Geek is an official Oregon E-Cycles collection site, which ensures a free, easy and environmentally responsible recycling option for computers, monitors, TVs, printers, keyboards and mice in addition to the many other electronics we accept.