Any computer equipment, electronics, tablets, smart phones (basically anything that is related to something that uses electricity) working or not, can be donated to Free Geek; we will repair and reuse what items we can. Non-functioning computers and scrap will be recycled responsibly.

A recycling volunteer salvaging plastic

Please see this link for info on equipment donations.

What Happens to Your Computer When it’s Recycled?

Computers that are deemed obsolete or broken are demanufactured and separated into their basic components by volunteers. Free Geek then finds a local industrial recycler to process the materials. We work with companies that we are confident are handling the materials in an environmentally responsible manner.

  • Obsolete monitors and terminals are processed by Total Reclaim in Seattle, Washington. (Total Reclaim adheres to the BAN Policy Principles.)
  • Aluminum, motors, wires and cables, printers, optical drives, speakers, and other copper bearing material are sold to Metro Metals in Portland, Oregon.
  • Circuit boards and processors are sold for precious metal recovery to Hallmark Refining Corporation in Washington.
  • Plastic is sent to Total Reclaim in Seattle, Washington.
  • Steel is sold to Schnitzer Steel, in Portland, Oregon.

How We Choose Our Recyclers

Ribbon cable a go-goFree Geek consistently works to make sure its industrial recyclers process e-waste in an environmentally responsible way. At times, we have turned down recyclers who’ve offered additional profit in order to uphold this value. Free Geek requires the following of its e-waste vendors:

  • Vendors may not ship overseas any material considered hazardous by The Basel Action Network. All processing of these materials must occur in North America.
  • Vendors may not send to the landfill material that could be recycled. Some material may be landfilled if there is no recycling process available, or if the only alternative would be burning it for fuel, which is less desirable than landfilling.
  • Vendors may not use prison labor in any part of their process.
  • Vendors are allowed to ship out of the country only material that is considered a commodity, as in clean steel, plastic, or copper.
  • Vendors must be open to an audit of their processes, or provide results from a recent audit.
  • Preference is given to vendors with BAN certification, or vendors who are in the process of being certified.

Free Geek heartily supports the Basel Action Network and their efforts to reduce the irresponsible disposal of e-waste. All signatories of the BAN Pledge have agreed, among other requirements, to: reduce the incidence of hazardous e-waste from going to municipal incinerators or landfills, prevent the export of hazardous e-waste to developing countries, and use free-market rather than prison labor to dismantle or recycle e-waste.