Press Release

Six Circular Economy Initiatives Fund recipients announced

(22 October 2021) The Regional Municipality of York recently awarded $100,000 in funding through its Circular Economy Initiatives Fund (CEIF) to six non-profit organizations committed to advancing a circular economy in York Region. A circular economy designs out waste and pollution so the resources needed to make products and packaging are continuously reused, rather than used once and discarded.

We are pleased to announce the 2021 CEIF recipients and projects are:

  • Circular Innovation Council – Share, Reuse, and Repair Hub: a community-based virtual hub to educate and engage residents on advancing the local circular economy through share, reuse and repair
  • Free Geek Toronto – The Reuse Project, Technology Edition: a series of electronic waste collection and repair events to encourage reuse and repair over recycling of unwanted technology
  • Furniture Bank – Furniture and Home Goods Reuse Education and Awareness Campaign: a campaign increasing awareness of furniture removal services for residents to help divert household items from landfill and repurpose them to be given to local families in need
  • Impact Zero – Circular Business Directory: a searchable, detailed directory for circular businesses in York Region
  • Whitchurch-Stouffville Strawberry Festival – Greening the Strawberry Festival 2022: a project to reduce waste, particularly food waste and single-use plastic waste, at the 2022 Strawberry Festival
  • Willowgrove – Take Root Farm Project: an educational program offering two series of workshops teaching children how to use upcycled items to construct their own compost and greenhouse systems for use at home

This is the first year York Region has offered the Circular Economy Initiatives Fund, which is open to non-profit, community-driven, innovative projects that will run for a year and help reduce residential waste and advance a circular economy. Recipients were selected based on meeting one or both of the following objectives:

  1. Reduce residential waste generated and/or increase reuse of residential waste, diverting it from landfill
  2. Develop and deliver education and awareness projects that lead to behaviour change and/or increase knowledge of the value of waste

Funding from the CEIF provides financial support for grassroot or local organizations to get these projects off the ground. Once the circular economy momentum starts to gain traction in York Region, other businesses and organizations may be inspired to support a waste-free society in whatever way they can.

York Region is proud to support these six initiatives and is excited to see the impact they will have now and in the future on our communities as we move towards our visionary goal of a world in which nothing goes to waste.

For more information on the CEIF visit

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Free Geek Toronto Receives $31,000 OTF Grant for Safe, Sustainable Operations

TORONTO, ON (Oct. 17, 2021) — Free Geek Toronto is proud to announce it has received an Ontario Trillium Foundation Resilience Communities Fund grant of $31,800 to rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19 by resuming our volunteer refurbishment program by hiring a part-time coordinator to provide training and support and increasing site safety. A virtual event celebrating the grant was held on October 17, 2021.

The Resilience Grant allows Free Geek Toronto to ensure its downtown Toronto storefront, technology reuse/refurbishment activities and other operations continue successfully as demand increases following reopening. The grant supports Free Geek in the hiring of a volunteer coordinator, the safer socially distanced handling of donated computer items, and in exploring at-home refurbishment activities.

“Demand for low-cost computers has been steadily increasing since we resumed operations this summer, and this OTF grant will allow us to not only ensure we have the appropriate resources and volunteers in place but also to do so safely with COVID-19 measures in place,” said Ryan Fukunaga, Free Geek Toronto Executive Director.

Free Geek Toronto is a not-for-profit technology reuse organization focusing on promoting a circular economy, extending the life of products and reducing our reliance on virgin materials. Free Geek seeks out unwanted electronics for reuse and refurbishment, selling them at accessible prices or ethically recycling items that cannot be reused or refurbished. Free Geek Toronto also works with partners to increase digital inclusion in our city. More information and details on the grant recognition event can be found at

The mission of the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is to build healthy and vibrant communities throughout Ontario by investing in community-based initiatives and strengthening the impact of Ontario’s non-profit sector.  

Media Contact:
Ryan Fukunaga, Executive Director
Free Geek Toronto
416-572-3737 |

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Lanner Announces Zero Waste Sponsorship for Free Geek Toronto in Effort to Show Its Deep Commitment to Technology Recycling

Industrial and telecom hardware appliance manufacturer Lanner has become a sponsor of the Toronto-based non-profit social enterprise, Free Geek Toronto, as part of its mission to promote socially responsible business behaviours in society.

December 17, 2019 – Lanner Electronics Inc., a global leader in customized embedded application hardware and network appliance manufacturing, has entered into a sponsorship agreement with Free Geek Toronto, a Toronto-based non-profit with a focus on technology accessibility and recycling, as part of its deep commitment to promoting responsible consumption and recycling of electronic hardware. Sponsorship proceeds will support some of the costs associated with logistics and ethical e-waste recycling of technology donations received in Toronto.

Every year, millions of metric tonnes of e-waste ends up in landfills. All the electronic waste produced is recyclable, however, the current rate is only 15-20%. Disposal of e-waste through landfills and the process of incineration of cables and electronic equipment poses increasing environmental risks. By promoting reusing and recycling, we can make a positive impact on the environment by cutting down on unethical and harmful e-waste disposal practices.

“As our company’s growth continues at a rate of 15% YoY, we at Lanner want to reaffirm our global commitment to staying true to our mission of being a socially and environmentally responsible company that equally promotes access to technology as well as reduction of electronic waste. In our ISO 14001 certified facilities, we ensure environment safety throughout the manufacturing process,” said Geoffrey Egger, General Manager LEI Technology Canada, a division of Lanner Electronics, Inc. “We are very supportive of the Free Geek Toronto cause and are glad to work with them to support their efforts as well as have them as our local recycling partner.”

About Lanner:

Lanner Electronics Inc. (TAIEX 6245) is a world-leading provider of design, engineering and manufacturing services for advanced network appliances and rugged applied computing platforms for system integrators, service providers and application developers. The company is also a pioneer in white box solutions for 5G edge computing and virtualization. Lanner has over 1,000 employees worldwide with headquarters in Taipei, Taiwan and subsidiaries in the US, Canada, and China. For more information, visit Follow for the latest updates on Twitter at @LannerAmerica.

About Free Geek Toronto:

Free Geek Toronto, a social enterprise, collects e-waste and recycles it back into the community, while providing supported training, employment, and mentorship to community members seeking to enhance their skills and employability, with the goal of making computer technology accessible to all. Free Geek Toronto is part of a social and economic justice movement that spans North America. They accept donations of electronic waste and then refurbish and resell computers, monitors and other equipment at a very low cost. Parts that cannot be re-used are ethically recycled in an environmentally responsible manner, with oversight by the Ontario Electronics Stewardship (OES). Free Geek Toronto is partly funded by the Toronto Enterprise Fund, a United Way agency.

Free Geek Toronto is happy to partner with Lanner Electronics Inc. to achieve our goal of creating mutually beneficial partnerships that support responsible recycling and ensuring access to technology for all. If your organization is interested in exploring a partnership opportunity with Free Geek Toronto, please feel free to connect with us.

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CIRA invests in 28 ways to advance Canada’s Internet

OTTAWA, May 30, 2014 /CNW/ – Twenty-eight worthy initiatives have been chosen as the first to be funded under the new Community Investment Program (CIP) created by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (, the organization that manages the .CA domain.

CIRA launched the CIP earlier this year as part of its mandate to champion initiatives that help Canadians take full advantage of the social and economic benefits of the Internet. The intention was to provide funding to community groups, not-for-profits and academic institutions for projects they could demonstrate would enhance the Internet for the benefit of all Canadians. Just over $1 million was earmarked for the first edition of the CIP.

“The enthusiastic response we saw from applicants across the country is evidence of CIRA’s long-standing conviction that the Internet has become a critical daily tool in the lives of all Canadians,” said Byron Holland, CEO of CIRA. “Our selection committee faced a difficult task to review and choose from among 149 applications, representing just under $8 million in requests. I want to personally express our sincerest thanks and appreciation to each and every applicant.”

Common themes emerged among the CIP recipients that accord with some of CIRA’s key priorities to ensure Canada’s Internet infrastructure is safe, secure, and stable, and supporting other Internet-related activities in Canada.

These include:

  • Internet surveillance and helping individual Canadians manage their privacy online.

  • Improving the digital literacy of all Canadians and developing digital skills among our youth.

  • Affordable Internet access for all Canadians.

The full list of recipients includes:

  • Academos Cybermentorat

  • Ashlu Creek Foundation

  • British Columbia Technology for Learning Society

  • Canadian Civil Liberties Association

  • Career Skills Incubator

  • Chebucto Community Net Society

  • Civil Law Section, Ottawa University

  • Consumers Council of Canada

  • Faculty of Information, Information Policy Research Program, University of Toronto

  • Framework Foundation

  • Free Geek Toronto

  • Governing Council of the University of Toronto

  • Halifax Internet Exchange Inc.

  • Indigenous Law Research Unit, Faculty of Law, University of Victoria

  • International CyberCrime Research Center, Simon Fraser University

  • Kids Code Jeunesse

  • Kitikmeot Heritage Society

  • Lesser Slave Lake Indian Regional Council

  • MakerKids

  • MediaSmarts

  • Mozilla Foundation

  • Nipissing University

  • Open Democracy Manitoba

  • Open North Inc.

  • Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library, c/o Nova Scotia Community Access Program

  • Schulich School of Business, York University

  • Textile Museum of Canada

  • The Vancouver Community Network

Canada faces a number of challenges to ensure the rights and freedoms of Canadians are protected online, and that each and every Canadian has the same opportunity to take advantage of what the Internet has to offer,” added Holland. “Through the CIP, we will provide leadership and support for organizations across the country that share our vision of what the Internet in Canada can and should be. The outstanding response we have had so far shows there is no shortage of great ideas that can make a positive difference.”

The list of CIP recipients and summaries of their individual projects is available on CIRA’s website.

About CIRA

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) manages the .CA top-level domain, Canada’s online identifier, on behalf of all Canadians. A Member-driven organization, CIRA also facilitates the development of a better Internet for all Canadians, and represents the .CA registry internationally.

SOURCE: Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA)

For further information:

To arrange interviews or to learn more, please contact:

Leo Valiquette
inmedia Public Relations
(613) 769-9479

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