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Metro Vancouver Media Release
October 20, 2009


Residents of the Metro Vancouver region can now take their old computers back to school.

Used computers returned to London Drugs will go into Free Geek educational programs. There, volunteers "adopt" a free computer after 24 hours of service, or they can learn to fix six systems, keeping the last one for themselves.

“London Drugs already has a comprehensive electronics recycling program with the Electronic Stewardship Association of British Columbia,” said Clint Mahlman, London Drugs’ Senior Vice President. “By partnering with Metro Vancouver and Free Geek, London Drugs will be able to provide recycled computers to those who need them while providing a beneficial and educational service.”

Free Geek Coordinator Ifny Lachance said they are tickled to work with London Drugs to capture working computers before they are recycled.

“Metro Vancouver has been instrumental in bringing us together,” Lachance said.
“Everyone who participates will help reduce the environmental harm caused by unwanted computers. Saving viable equipment makes communities healthier and more empowered.”

“People often jump straight to recycling, missing the opportunity to help others,” said Marvin Hunt, Chair of Metro Vancouver’s Waste Management Committee and a City of Surrey Councillor. “When you have something you no longer need, ask yourself if someone else can use it. This collaboration between London Drugs and Free Geek is a great example of how to maximize the social benefit from a resource we used to treat as garbage.”

Free Geek is the only Canadian non-profit recognized by Basel Action Network’s e-Steward program for ethical electronics recycling and re-use. They also provide job skills training, Internet access and free or low cost computers to the public.

All hard drives will be removed by London Drugs and destroyed prior to being transferred to Free Geek or ESABC depots.  For a complete list of accepted items or for more information on London Drugs’ waste reduction initiatives, visit www.GreenDeal.ca.  Learn more about Free Geek at FreeGeekVancouver.org.  For more information on the Basel Action Network’s e-Steward program, visit www.e-Stewards.org.  For more reuse, recycling and safe disposal services, visit MetroVancouverRecycles.org.

Free Geek Vancouver was founded in November 2006 as a community technology centre. Its volunteers pitch in to help test, refurbish or dismantle unwanted computer equipment donated by the public. Free computers are distributed to volunteers and other non-profits; Free Geek supports its activities through computer thrift store and recycling revenue.

Metro Vancouver is a federation of 22 municipalities, one electoral area and one treaty First Nation.  Metro Vancouver is committed to delivering essential utility services, such as drinking water, sewage treatment, recycling and garbage disposal, economically and effectively on a regional basis; and maintaining and enhancing the quality of life in our region by managing and planning growth and development and protecting air quality and green spaces.

Founded in 1945, B.C.-based London Drugs currently has 70 stores in more than 35 major markets throughout British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.  Renowned for its creative approach to retailing, the company employs more than 7,500 people and carries a diverse range of health and consumer electronic products. With its strong commitment to innovation and customer appreciation, London Drugs has established itself as a reputable and caring company and continues to position itself for future growth and development.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Glenn Bohn, Communications Specialist, Metro Vancouver
604-451-6697 office, 604-314-5964 cell, Glenn.Bohn@metrovancouver.org

Ifny Lachance, Coordinator, Free Geek
604-879-4335, ifny@freegeekvancouver.org

Wendy Hartley, Media Relations, London Drugs
604-817-2758 cell, wendyhartley@telus.net

Cynnamon Schreinert, Media Relations, London Drugs,
604-802-2733 cell, cynnamon@shaw.ca

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