Outsourcing Recycling

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Why are these people taking these boxes out the back door?

Free Geek partners with different organizations and schools to provide volunteer opportunities to people who cannot work at Free Geek's facility. These volunteers provide recycling services in their workshops, and the organization keeps track of the hours volunteers work. Volunteers are also eligible to receive FreekBoxen. A special class might have to be arranged for them to receive their training.

What canNOT be taken off site

Because of Free Geek's data security promise to donors, no media that might contain readable data can be taken off site. This includes floppy disks, data tapes, and hard drives. Video tapes from Multnomah Public Library are OK (and approved by MPL) because they are assumed to not contain data that Free Geek must ensure remains secure.

Anything donated by the general public that is recordable should not be taken off site. This includes video tapes, cassettes, floppies, and any other storage devices such as data tapes, cartridges, flash drives, etc.

When in doubt - don't let it out.

What CAN be recycled off site, and how it's done

Here's a list of the common items that we send out to be recycled. Following each item is a list of what it's broken down into. Many groups need this as a reference for how they should divide up the output of their recycling.

  • Keyboards
    • Plastic
    • Steel (remove rods from longer keys, screws, plates)
    • Filmy plastic/Rubbery sheet (jellyfish-like)
    • Circuit boards
    • Wires/cables
  • Network Devices
    • Plastic (remove all LEDs, wires, switches, etc)
    • Steel (screws, etc)
    • Circuit boards
    • Wires/cables
    • Misc (CBM, etc)
  • Daughter Cards
    • Cards
    • Steel (screws, faceplates)
    • Aluminum (heat sinks)
    • Fans
    • Batteries (occasional button batteries)
  • Floppy Drives (aluminum chassis only)
    • Aluminum
    • Steel (covers, screws, etc)
    • Circuit boards (controller card)
    • Misc (motors, plastic/steel mix, cable/wire)
  • Heat Sink Fan Combos (ZIF only)
    • Fans
    • Aluminum (heat sinks)
    • Wires
    • Steel (screws, clips, brackets)
  • Slot Processor Combos (require some significant prying)
    • Aluminum (heat sinks)
    • Slot processor
    • Plastic
    • Fans
    • Wires
    • Steel (screws, clips, brackets)

Groups, Contact Info, What they take

FULL LIFE - formerly known as PSE


    • contact: Miriam
    • drop off day: Tuesdays about 12:30pm, every Tuesday
    • What they take:
      • slot procs
      • heat sink fan combos
      • keyboards
      • simpler networking devices
      • cards
      • NOT printer trays - tried them, we and they had safety concerns


confirmed for 09/10

  • Multnomah Education Service District Vocational School (Pathways)
    • contact: Bill Hjelseth 503-262-4003 /Sally Adams 503-262-4023
    • drop off day: Thursday after 11:30am
    • what they take:
      • floppy drives
      • cards (to remove steel face plate)
      • heatsink-fan combos
      • modems and hubs that are easy to take apart
    • what they can't take:
      • CDs or jewelcases

Portland Public Schools CTC Special Education

started back up as of Feb 2010

    • contact: Yuki Tanaka, ytanaka(at)pps(dot)k12(dot)or(dot)us 503-351-5285
    • alternate contact: Penny
    • drop-off & pick-up day: Wednesdays at 12:30 pm
    • FG contact: Darryl
    • What they take:
      • cards
      • keyboards
      • speakers and fans***
      • optical drives***

Mt. Hood Community College Project Enterprise

on hold

  • contact: Susan Spencer (503) 256-0432 x22231
    • drop off day: still random, they usually email a few days ahead
    • what they take:
      • Keyboards (2 boxes)
      • cards (2 boxes)
    • note: they don't take a lot of stuff, usually no more than 2 boxes of either

Rainier ESD

on hold

    • contact: Anne Montgomery
    • drop off day: Thursday around 4:30pm
    • what they take
      • keyboards
      • heatsink/fan combos
      • EASY disassemble networking devices
      • daughter boards/cards
    • what they don't want
      • difficult to disassemble drives or other items