At Free Geek, we sustainably reuse technology, enable digital access, and provide digital literacy education to provide digital literacy education to empower people on the wrong side of the digital divide too help them reach their full potential. We do this by conducting a multi-step process that includes diverting technology from landfills, refurbishing the devices, and giving them back to our community at little or no cost.
Step one: Donation
Free Geek receives technology donations of all sizes from cellphones to laptops. Individuals and businesses from all over the country look to Free Geek as a hub for technology recycling. Anyone can donate to us at our Free Geek location during our donation hours or by appointment, your donation can also be mailed, or you can request a pickup. Free Geek relies on these donations to continue our work toward providing devices to our community. To find out more about this process, click here.
Step two: Data Security
To protect our donors’ privacy, the data on all of the devices donated is wiped clean to the highest industry standards or physically destroyed onsite. Computer hard drives that meet our reuse specifications are wiped clean making the data unrecoverable. The drive is then overwritten again, and finally, batch checked for quality control. After the data
Step three: Recycle or Refurb?
After the data is fully wiped, the devices are process by Free Geek staff in our warehouse, where approximately 30% of it is moved to our reuse department to be turned into useable technology and the remaining 70% is moved to the next stage of recycling.
Items that can't be reused, refurbished or sent to one of our reuse partners is passed onto our recycling department. This is where the staff disassembles the devices into recyclable components such as steel, plastic, and insulated copper wire. Other items, such as gold bearing circuit boards and monitors, are shipped to our recycling partners, where the materials are disposed of in a responsible manner.
The remaining 30% of waste we are able to reuse and refurbish goes to one of our rebuild departments: Laptops, Desktops, Macland, and Other Devices. These devices are worked on and tested to ensure that it is functional before it is posted on our online store or given to someone through one of our various programs or workshops.