Free Geek Twin Cities: E-Waste and Education

Free Geek Twin Cities: E-Waste and Education

Most old computers and electronics end up in a landfill or scrapped for raw materials. But a nonprofit in Minneapolis, Minnesota takes the tech we no longer want and turns it into an educational opportunity.

Free Geek Twin Cities:


Free Geek Portland photos courtesy Angela Holm,

The Sunday Oregonian, “Nonprofit gives old computers new life” by Richard Colby. November 19, 2000.

Minnesota Daily, “Free Geek to open in Mpls” by Krista Webb. September 28, 2009.

Minnesota Public Radio, “Free Geek program seeks to increase computer ownership” by Jessica Mador. October 26, 2009.

Motherboard CPU socket image:


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Music by Epidemic Sound (


  1. patg108 on November 13, 2020 at 8:31 pm

    Shame on you for not testing crt tvs and monitors, crt tvs are good for old consoles, esp if they have composite, svideo, component in at minimum, which are the common major standards that are actually used in the real world. I can see if you gave them out for free or cheap for people with such projects (could ask for proof like a picture of that person with console/games that would benefit from such a thing. Those CRT monitors could at least be tested if not repaired to sell to people who want to play vintage computer games (dos, 95, 98 era).

    its literally just a waste!

    and even MORE shame for not saving pata drives! I understand running dban on em fine. But cmon its cheap and easy and a good learning experience to TEST those out and sell for cheap for people who actually want to use them in old machines. Shame on you old man, you of all people there SHOULD know better and should promote such things! You know you aren’t getting much in scrap value and could EASILY make more from reselling. And pata can still be run even under a modern OS, if you don’t mind it being slow.

    I understand getting rid of printers, fax machines, dial up modems without a secondary function fine. Most of that should go unless its high end or proprietary or modern enough to still be viable on the cheap

  2. Aberran Fox on November 13, 2020 at 8:35 pm

    My retro buddies would do a lot for those PATA drives and some CRTs but yeah shipping kills on those.

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  5. Aleksandar Prošič on November 13, 2020 at 8:36 pm
  6. einat1622 on November 13, 2020 at 8:41 pm

    Loved it!

  7. pearce mclaughlin on November 13, 2020 at 8:43 pm

    this plase is so cool its macking me cri
    not rilly im just so jeles

  8. Super Saiyan Commenter on November 13, 2020 at 8:43 pm

    I love going to e waste centers, I’m watching this on a computer I bought from an e waste center!

  9. Squdoodels on November 13, 2020 at 8:44 pm

    Please save the Apple computers their valuable

  10. josue on November 13, 2020 at 8:45 pm

    how you get their by bus

  11. bradd ford on November 13, 2020 at 8:46 pm

    wish we had them in the uk

  12. Facts over Feelings on November 13, 2020 at 8:46 pm

    Wish there was something like this in San Diego CA.

  13. Richard brobeck on November 13, 2020 at 8:46 pm

    I laugh at this saying how danagerous tvs are wow I see they don’t really knowledge or any back ground

  14. lactobacillusprime on November 13, 2020 at 8:47 pm

    Lovely documentary. Looks and sounds very professional. Kudos! And a great cause!

  15. TotallyBCK on November 13, 2020 at 8:49 pm

    SO COOL! i would love to go their sometime!

  16. Haxalicious on November 13, 2020 at 8:50 pm

    There are some incredibly high-end builds at Free Geek now, all built from recycled parts. A few in recent memory include a 7700K build with 32GB of RAM and dual 980 TI’s, 5960X custom loop build with 64GB and dual 970s, and a 6700 build with 32GB and a 1070.

  17. dhawara on November 13, 2020 at 8:52 pm

    thank you for the video
    this is looking like a place where i can spend my 24/7

  18. Beni on November 13, 2020 at 8:53 pm

    Im the "Every device has a soul"type of guy,but at least they have some use other than weird geeks like me.

  19. Goreface69 on November 13, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    Man now I want something like this in my area. How do I start doing something like that in the first place??

  20. Rupert C on November 13, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    Too bad France doesn’t have FreeGeek :'( … but great video!

  21. Hero In DeepBlu on November 13, 2020 at 8:57 pm

    I’ve always wanted a free geek to open by me. I would love to take apart and fix computers all day. Such a relaxing experience.

  22. Rafaelappleseed on November 13, 2020 at 8:57 pm

    What do they do with the tablets and phones ? I’m willing to buy faulty non working ones

  23. Mark Hyde on November 13, 2020 at 8:57 pm

    So much of my retro tech computers – particularly my Apple collection pre-Intel transition is from a local tech recycling co-op here in Australia where I live – have loved volunteering there for nearly 10 years now. Catching up with these videos – really love this work. (i have newer bought tech tho.)

  24. Miso Mama on November 13, 2020 at 8:57 pm

    this small company actually wipes HD before redeploying or even recycling. the sad part here is that those commercial scanners you find at Office Depot, college campus, government operated offices, and medical facilities do not do this because of the dollar value involved. those scanners store petabytes of information on physical hard drives that are often donated or sold off to overseas buyers. no wonder there is such an issue with identity theft. if this small company can do this why cant those other business that make millions more in profits???

  25. Robert Blakemore on November 13, 2020 at 8:58 pm

    I used to sell thrift store computers that I rehabbed back in the early 2000s. The market has dried up and the supply is not there anymore. The fun of it was bringing PCs back from the dead-there was no real profit in it. I love the idea of rehabbing old PCs and putting them back in circulation. I have always loved to reuse old things in the "modern age".

  26. Melvin Harris on November 13, 2020 at 8:58 pm

    that thumbnail is fucking glorious

  27. Tom Maxwell on November 13, 2020 at 9:00 pm

    Thank you so much for spending the time to shoot and edit this together into an exceptionally well-made video. This was inspiring!

  28. dr. giggles on November 13, 2020 at 9:01 pm

    professional documentary

  29. Alan Armstrong on November 13, 2020 at 9:01 pm

    This could/should run on the TPT Minnesota channel. Very well produced.

  30. Logan Jones on November 13, 2020 at 9:02 pm

    This is the exact same Free Geek that I go to.

    I have recently picked up a green iMac G3 (fully working) for $90 there.

  31. kola on November 13, 2020 at 9:03 pm

    wooow, i don’t wanna live anymore in europe!

  32. raymond carpenter on November 13, 2020 at 9:03 pm

    I really hope one opens here in Indiana sometime. I would buy lots of parts from them. I would also work with them in the recycling aspect of their business.

  33. Andrew Gurinovich on November 13, 2020 at 9:04 pm

    selling cpus by weight, $2.25/lb is a bit… wasteful.

  34. johneygd on November 13, 2020 at 9:06 pm

    Just mind blowing.

  35. soviut on November 13, 2020 at 9:06 pm

    You’re a very talented documentary film maker. Well filmed, well recording, superb editing.

  36. José Antonio on November 13, 2020 at 9:07 pm

    I want to translate this (LATAM es). What should I do?

  37. pearce mclaughlin on November 13, 2020 at 9:08 pm

    holy sh## that hp im yosing wat a cwinsudins

  38. patg108 on November 13, 2020 at 9:11 pm

    besides there is far better sources of metal, old cars, tractors in junkyards that could be saved and other things that could be saved! And where’s the practical use of space travel to get metal from other planets or asteroids? We may even find other materials even better suited for electronic use or may make a whole new method that puts the current one to shame. There’s a lot we could do to better the planet than scrap old computers.

    wanna save on fossil fuels? Cut back dramatically on the number of races that go on all the time, make THEM use the hybrid parts and see how efficient and safe they are. You could simulate the races instead, you’d use power but save in far more areas. Reality is scrapping is inefficient, wasteful and technically creates much more e-waste than it saves and causes issues for many people and things.

    But then again there’s a lot more "practices" all over the place that are just stupid and money grubbing that could solve countless issues for many people if they were just done right and not to be money grubbing or lazy or stupid in the first place

  39. TheOnlyTwitch.R6 on November 13, 2020 at 9:12 pm

    I really need to make a trip down there. I’d love to check out this place.

  40. josue on November 13, 2020 at 9:12 pm

    i could use a used macintosh

  41. smokeyjo123e on November 13, 2020 at 9:13 pm

    I’d love to see something like this where I live, I’d gladly go out and volunteer for something like this instead of wasting away being depressed all day. Might make it a goal to start something up like this myself!

  42. Bill Wilson on November 13, 2020 at 9:13 pm

    Dude, you have an amazing voice. If you decide to do voiceover work you certainly have a future.

  43. Darren AM on November 13, 2020 at 9:15 pm

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐….nuff said

  44. Ismoyo Nugroho Tomo on November 13, 2020 at 9:16 pm

    I wish we have this organization in my country. I will be one of the volunteers, and I’m in heaven…

  45. cedarstuff on November 13, 2020 at 9:20 pm

    Can’t believe I missed this episode, glad you referenced it in your 2019 look-ahead video! Looks like a great cause, and to repeat the comments below – a very well done docu-short.

  46. kal222 on November 13, 2020 at 9:20 pm

    even the outside of the building is beautiful

  47. Dankrat169 on November 13, 2020 at 9:24 pm

    Awesome video! I really enjoyed it, thanks!

  48. f.a.y.a .a on November 13, 2020 at 9:30 pm

    as much asi want to o there to get some parts its like a amd cpu that i need cor my 2011 gaming pc i cant its closed

  49. Kepler_2258 on November 13, 2020 at 9:30 pm

    i have same computer model that was laying on the desk to the left at 0:32

  50. ke4rit on November 13, 2020 at 9:31 pm

    Man I miss Free Geek. Used to be a part of FGM (Free Geek Michiana). Unfortunately, it crashed and burned in 2009-2010? Tom Brown the founder passed away in 2012. It closed the same year. I do miss the work… Well done Free Geek Twin Cities… Glad to see other Free Geek sites have survived.

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