Quantcast

Sierra Magazine: Explore, enjoy and protect the planet.
The Green Life: Trendsetter

« Media Lounge | Main | Leap Year »

April 24, 2008

Trendsetter

Jeff Robinson: Product coordinator, Free Geek

Every year about 500 tons of old and broken computers wind up at Free Geek, a recycling cooperative in Portland, Oregon. Hundreds of volunteers, from nerds to the needy, help reassemble the parts into working machines, and no wonder, since 24 hours of labor earns volunteers a free PC. Jeff Robinson, 33, is one of 14 members of the collective that runs Free Geek. Begun in 2000 in a living room, the enterprise now occupies a warehouse and has spawned nine other Free Geeks, from Arkansas to Vancouver, British Columbia. freegeek.org

Q: What's it like to work at Free Geek?

A: It's a crazy atmosphere. We have retirees who have had great jobs standing next to someone who's never used a computer before, helping each other out.

Q: What happens to the computers that come through your door?

A:Roughly 20 percent are immediately reusable, ready to rebuild or resell. The other 80 percent need to be recycled.

Q:Does an operation like this really make a difference?

A:Rather than have computers go to a landfill, last month we gave away 100 and sold 100, and they're going back into the community. The difference is environmental, economic, and educational.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b96069e200e551dc135e8833

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Trendsetter:

User comments or postings reflect the opinions of the responsible contributor only, and do not reflect the viewpoint of the Sierra Club. The Sierra Club does not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of any posting. The Sierra Club accepts no obligation to review every posting, but reserves the right (but not the obligation) to delete postings that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate.

Up to Top


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...