Reuse and Recycling Policy

Free Geek Toronto works to reuse as much donated technology as possible

The sustainable reuse of technology is at the heart of Free Geek Toronto’s mission.

Our primary focus is taking donated computers, parts, peripherals, and other devices, testing and repairing what we can and making them available for reuse at a below-market price for anyone, regardless of need, to purchase. Staff and volunteers at Free Geek Toronto securely wipe data-bearing devices, test, and then rebuild them into fully functioning machines.

A variety of computers and other devices are granted to young entrepreneurs, non-profits, and community innovation organizations, or sold to the community for affordable prices at our Computer Refurbishment Store and Thrift Shop.

Free Geek proudly champions Free and Open Source Software since they offer free good-quality alternatives to more well-known software that is often unaffordable to much of the community. Currently, our desktops and laptops are refurbished with Linux Mint, or with recovered Windows OS when possible, and our Macs run macOS. We always install the best modern operating system that the machine can handle.

Data Security

Securely destroying personal data in order to maintain privacy has become a huge concern in our connected world. At Free Geek Toronto, we adhere to strict and secure data destruction policies. We make sure your data is destroyed properly through a wiping process that involves each bit of data on a hard disk being overwritten between 3-5 times making data unrecoverable for that will be reused/refurbished. Items that can’t be reused are securely stored until they can be transferred to our recycling partner, Quantum Lifecycle, to be physically destroyed. 

Anything that cannot be reused is ethically recycled

Items that Free Geek Toronto cannot reuse or refurbish are passed on to our recycling operations. Our staff and volunteers sort and disassemble devices into recyclable components. These, along with other items such as gold-bearing circuit boards and monitors, are shipped to our recycling partner, Quantum Lifecycle, which handles the material shredding in an environmentally responsible manner.

Free Geek Toronto was an Ontario Electronics Stewardship (OES) certified refurbisher and recycler until the program ended in December 2021.

Our Recycling Partner

Since Free Geek Toronto’s early days, we have worked with our recycling partner, Quantum Lifecycle, formerly Shift Recycling. Quantum is certified in accordance with R2 and ERPA standards for responsible recycling.

The ERPA estimates that up to 30% of Canada’s electronic waste still ends up in landfills and only 4% is reused. With your help, we can do much better!