Free Geek is a nonprofit community organization that reduces the environmental impact of waste electronics by reusing and recycling donated technology. Through community engagement we provide education, job skills training, Internet access and free or low cost computers to the public.
We are one of a dozen autonomous Free Geek organizations located throughout the U.S. and Canada. The original Free Geek was founded in Portland, OR, in 2000.
We provide a place for people to share technology in a way that is environmentally sensitive and socially progressive. We believe in transparency, accountability, and sustainability.
We dispose of equipment in an ethical and environmentally responsible manner. We're a reuse and recycling centre, and a large part of our mission is environmental.
Reuse is the most desirable fate for old electronics. Finding a new home for an existing piece of technology generally requires less energy and produces fewer pollutants than any method of recycling.
Recycling regionally and ethically is the next-best choice for old electronics. We recycle as locally as possible to minimize transportation, and so that we can build relationships with recyclers and have confidence in their methods. We aim to recycle in British Columbia where possible, but will otherwise use Canadian and American recyclers.
In accordance with the Basel Convention, we absolutely refuse to send materials to non-OECD countries.
We use free and open source software wherever possible, and promote the open source movement through transparent collaboration with others. The free software philosophy, with its emphasis on mutual assistance and freedom, is important to what we are; all of our software, documentation, and policies are open to whoever wants to avoid reinventing the wheels we've made.
We provide low- and no-cost computer technology and training to our community. We believe that empowering people is an essential part of equipping them. Rather than just dropping free hardware on folks, we want to educate them, and facilitate their self-sufficiency. We also want to involve them in creating a community where they can circulate their knowledge and empower others.
At Free Geek, we encourage active participation from everywhere within the organization, whether it is from a volunteer, a member of staff, or a director. All of our meetings use a consensus-based decision-making process, and the resulting meeting minutes are available for anyone to review, on our public wiki.
We are a non-profit society, registered in British Columbia on December 6, 2006.