FGTN aka Born Again Technology is being undercut by the city

via startup@lists.freegeek.org

Free Geek TN – aka is on the brink of closing the warehouse for the time being as the city has pulled a fast one and instead of approaching an organization they felt could benefit the community, took one of their city owned property and is going to remodel the location and accept all electronics for free which will pretty much put us out of business. We also have a GW – restore and as GW center in our neighborhood and I am not sure how much recycling of electronics they are currently doing. We also have a Staples and Best Buy who started similar programs, but affected us little.

I was hoping to somehow contact the reconnect people (not GoodWill) and see if we could get in the program as well. We were just starting to see some good equipment donations from a large cooperation and a local school too. We would be fools to keep our doors open at this time as we would no longer have any monitor fees or other fees to make it fesible. Once a determination is made, we will officially announce it as I am sure we would also lose our FG status. Even if that is the case, we are still doing online education classes and well as FOSS outreach. If any has any info to contact Dell directly on this, please let me know.

Thanks…

Shawn M. Campbell
FGTN – a.k.a Born Again Technologies

— On Tue, 6/30/09, Tom Brown wrote:

From: Tom Brown
Subject: Re: [freegeek-startup] Dell + Goodwill = Reconnect
To: “Conversation between various Free Geeks and similar groups from all over”
Date: Tuesday, June 30, 2009, 6:54 AM

Dell is partnering with Goodwill of Northern Indiana (GWNI) in about 11
stores. GWNI accepts computer equipment at the stores and ships the
material to a central warehouse in South Bend, Indiana. GWNI holds the
material at the central warehouse until they meet the minimum load
requirement, then ships the goods to Detroit for recycling. GWNI
receives money from Dell according to a negotiated schedule of payment.

GWNI upper management is only interested in computer recycling and reuse
as pure revenue streams. The founder and president of GWNI has convinced
his managers to try the Reconnect program because other donations are
off slightly, and GWNI has idle workers. The founder understands that
recycling and reusing computers can be part of Goodwill’s mission. The
managers are not interested in mission unless Reconnect is not profitable.

GWNI will cherry pick the best material for resale. GWNI makes high
margins for electronics in their stores, but the electronics sections of
the stores have much higher than normal theft rates. A very small
percentage of the donated material will actually end up in the stores
for resale initially although GWNI is considering opening a “thrift”
store solely for electronics if Reconnect goes well. GWNI now sells used
computers at nearly the cost of discount Internet retail so there is not
much thrift involved, and the computers are loaded with Windows, another
problem for buyers.

Free Geek Michiana wants to talk to GWNI about donating computers to us
for reuse. However, our contact inside GWNI says it is too soon to
broach the subject with GWNI management. GWNI management wants to take
things slowly with Reconnect to see if the program is a net gain or net
loss for GWNI. GWNI will barely advertise or promote the program through
the summer. GWNI began the Reconnect program the first week in June.

GWNI management decided to initially recycle nearly 100% of the computer
donations the stores receive to ensure they meet Reconnect’s minimum
shipping requirements quickly and complete several cycles of shipment
and payment. After some months of shipping material, and once GWNI has a
baseline on costs and revenue, management may or may not be approachable
on donating computers to Free Geek Michiana for reuse. FGM plans to
pitch GWNI as soon as our contact says GWNI management is “ready” to
hear us.

I predicted on the public record years ago that Goodwill could easily
put us out of business if they begin collecting computers for recycling.
Our future depends on GWNI’s attitude about reuse. FGM sees used
computers as community assets when refurbished and loaded with Free and
Open Source Software. Our pitch will be that GWNI is shipping community
assets to Detroit for destruction when they could partner with FGM, keep
the assets in our community and do a great service.

Tom

Robert Citek wrote:
> Has anyone heard of this partnership between Dell and Goodwill?
>
> http://reconnectpartnership.com/index.php
>
> Do they reuse in addition to recycle?
>
> Regards,
> – Robert
> _______________________________________________
> Conversation between various Free Geeks and similar groups from all over mailing list
> http://lists.freegeek.org/mailman/listinfo/startup

Sorry that’s so long but if anyone has any ideas on how to help FGTN out please join the list or email
Shawn directly at obe1968 [at] yahoo [dot] com

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One thought on “FGTN aka Born Again Technology is being undercut by the city

  1. David says:

    Well, who is the city going to recycle with? Are they BAN approved? Is it just going to be exported? If your FG can get BAN approved like FG in Vancouver,BC you get a lot of leverage.

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