Oregon DEQ 2002

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Brief Project Description

Part of application form/cover sheet, basic conatact info. not shown for simplicity.

FREE GEEK is a 501(c)(3) non-profit community organization that operates a computer recycling facility located in inner SE Portland. Open from 11:00am to 7:00pm Tuesday through Saturday, the Community Technology Center provides a convenient location for the public to donate their obsolete computer equipment. After being dropped off, donated computers are evaluated for their best future use. Reusable equipment is sent on for testing, while obsolete equipment is sent to recycling for material recovery. Tested components are built into new starter computers with software pre-installed. The refurbished computers are made available for "adoption" to FREE GEEK clients in exchange for service hours they provide working in the recycling operation. FREE GEEK operates a classroom to teach the recipients of the computer systems how to use them productively. This space is available for volunteers to organize classes on a variety of computer subjects. Classes are available for free to FREE GEEK clients and volunteers.

FREE GEEK generates monthly reports from our database that detail the number of pieces of electronic equipment that are donated, tested, recycled, adopted, stored or sold. All of FREE GEEK's recycling partners provide weight reports on each shipment processed. FREE GEEK tracks the number of daily unique visitors and page views on their website (www.freegeek.org).

Currently, FREE GEEK is unable to keep up with the community need for material recycling, producing computers and providing training. We have several tons of material backed up in our warehouse and a waiting list of over 200 potential clients. FREE GEEK is seeking financial help to expand it's entire operation by renting and remodeling an additional 5,000 S.F. of adjacent warehouse space. This will allow FREE GEEK to more than double capacity for it's recycling and production programs by the end of 2003. FREE GEEK estimates that with it's expanded facility it will divert over 200 standard tons of electronic scrap, get more than 1,500 computers back into circulation while providing over 36,000 hours of computer instruction and job skills training in 2003. The long term goal is for FREE GEEK to be financially independent and self-supporting by the end of 2005.

FREE GEEK is a unique community service, providing the best future use for donated computer hardware and environmentally sound recycling of obsolete hardware. FREE GEEK also offers essentially free computers, free computer education and free job skills training. The entire program operates at a very low cost, while promoting community involvement from a very diverse population of computer professionals, non-profit organizations, businesses, and individuals in the community.