Difference between revisions of "Excess Disposal"

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Latest revision as of 10:35, 16 February 2014

Not yet official HacDC policy until approved at a monthly meeting.

Donation Rules

Donations must be labeled with the names of donor(s) and member(s) accepting them. Donors and accepting members have authority to, and are expected to manage the donation consistent with the following:

  • Refuse or dispose of any materials not meeting the "Relevant to HacDC Criteria".
  • Properly store and/or deploy the new resources.
  • Refuse or dispose of any new materials that cannot be stored properly on shelves, installed in equipment, or otherwise kept out of the way. HacDC work areas are not for storage.
  • Low-value items (eg. keyboards, low-end computers, etc) must be clearly labeled "free for all, take home, will be summarily disposed of in one week," to that effect.
  • Leased items at HacDC must be clearly labeled with lender's name by permanent pen, tape, etc.

New donations not handled in a manner consistent with the above should be disposed of immediately.

Disposal Rules

  • Expiration on the going-out pile is a point of no return. Retrieval from a dumpster and return to HacDC is explicitly forbidden.
  • The going-out pile is a process to members to throw-away or take resources permanently, not to borrow resources.
  • A majority vote at an official meeting is required to allow return of a disposed resource to HacDC.

Materials violating these rules should be disposed of immediately.

Space Use Rules


  • Floor and work surfaces must be kept clean.


  • Front room will not be used for storage.
  • Storage in back room limited to shelves and lockers.
  • Arrangement of back room will reasonably permit secondary use as class room or meeting space.

Unshared Member Storage

Limited to 3 cubic feet (3' * 1'), must be clearly labeled with contact information, and must fit on a shelf.


  • Front room will reasonably permit usage of at least 3 wood/metal machining workstations and optical table.
  • Front room storage is limited to overhead shelves.
  • Back room arrangement must permit temporary storage for at least 3 front-room workstations.

Unshared Member Storage

Limited to 27 cubic feet (3' * 3' * 3'), must be clearly labeled with contact information, and must fit on a shelf.

HacDC BoD may change the rules or authorize corrective actions, including "Emergency Disposal".

Relevant to HacDC Criteria

HacDC's goals include education, research, and engineering.

  • Actively in use, or likely to be deployed in six months.
  • Worthwhile components likely to be salvaged in six months.
  • Rare, valuable, and useful, likely to be sorely missed. Repurchasing multiple items worth >$250 is a costly mistake.
  • Not already present in excessive quantities, see "Rotation".
  • Available to other HacDC members (not private). HacDC is for collaboration, individual member storage should be limited.
  • Labeled as loaned to HacDC. Lenders should always have a reasonable chance to repossess their items.

The following consultants may be able to offer insights on specific items:

Note: salvage experts can quickly identify advanced hardware and identify valuable components likely to be inside.

  • mirage335 (Hardware and Salvage Expert)
  • Dan Barlow (Hardware and Salvage Expert)
  • Julia Longtin aka. juri (Hardware and Salvage Expert)
  • Lee Ciereszko (Radio Communications and CCTV Equipment Expert)

Going out Pile

Designated going out pile is in the basement. Anything put on the right side of that pile has a lifetime of two weeks, at which time it may be disposed of. Anything on the left side has already expired, awaiting disposal, and may not return to HacDC without a majority vote at an official meeting.

When possible, it is preferred that:

  • Going out pile photographed at the beginning of the week (Monday).
  • Photo and/or contents list published to a HacDC mailing list within a day (Tuesday).
  • Expired items moved to the expired side of the pile next week (Monday).

Items meeting the "Relevant to HacDC Criteria" should not be added to this pile except in dire need.

Members are welcome to bid on unexpired items, return unexpired items to service or storage at HacDC, or take expired items.

Emergency Disposal

When at least half the HacDC floor space and work areas are unusable due to improper resource storage, the going-out pile expiration period may be reduced to three days, with no requirement to photo or publish the contents list.

Such emergencies must be declared by HacDC BoD on the HacDC members mailing list, with an expiration time, three days prior to a disposal. Emergency disposal procedures may not be in effect more than 60 days per year.


Not all valuable or useful items at HacDC are in mint condition. When better condition items of the same type become available, and agreed upon limits have been exceeded, poorer condition items should be be sent to the going out pile immediately.

Limits apply to non-in-use equipment (eg. not dedicated to CNC mill, not on the test cart, etc), and are set in the following table:

Item Limit Comments
Laptops 5 ThinkPads, more CPUs/cores/threads, and identical models (for classes) preferred.
Desktops 3 More CPUs/cores/threads and RAM preferred.
WYSE Terminals 50 More RAM preferred.
LCD Monitors 5 Higher resolution preferred, especially >1080p.
Keyboards/Mice 3 Ridiculously cheap, not worth keeping.
CRT Monitors, TVs, etc. 1 Must fit on shelves. Longer (higher-voltage) is better. Useful mainly for elementary particle physics experiments.
Full Size Oscilloscopes 3 Higher speed, measurement functions, ease of use, special purpose uses (ie. scope clock), and working order determines value.

Members are welcome to revise this table as necessary.

Disposal Methods

Unwanted donations, expired items on the going out pile, or items declared unwanted at an official meeting should be disposed of ASAP as follows:


Small, usable parts may be salvaged from bulky equipment for active HacDC projects, education, or crafts. The parts may be permitted to return to HacDC service or storage, unless declared otherwise by majority vote at an official meeting.


Another non-profit organization may be able to keep the undesired items out of the waste stream.


Ham fests (amateur radio conventions) are an excellent opportunity to obtain cash for junk. Proceeds should go to HacDC.

Take Home by Member

Members may take an undesired item home, so long as the purpose is not to sell the item{s) for personal gain.


Anything efficient that does not inconvenience our host or other authorities is acceptable, including without limitation:

  • Throw it in an empty dumpster we are authorized to use, within reason.
  • Take it to the dump.
  • E-waste and hazardous materials should be properly recycled or processed.

Local Electronics Recycling Resources

The DC Department of Public Works offers a free, weekly electronics recycling drop-off service at the Benning Road Trash Transfer Station, 3200 Benning Road NE, each Saturday from 8 am to 3 pm.

From Tom Lee:

The DC government will take electronic waste without an additional fee, but you need to drop it off at the Ft. Totten Waste Transfer Station, which is almost impossible to find, particularly since the directions on their website refer to the use of a road that is currently closed. Here's a quick Google Map that conveys three key things:

  1. McCormick Road cannot be used -- at least, not the last time I went there
  2. you should not cross Puerto Rico Ave from Taylor, but rather get onto Brookland Ave going north immediately before it (I believe you can use either ramp off of Taylor to do this, but am not sure)
  3. The employees at the station can be a little vague on where electronics recycling occurs. Go to the end of the path on the map (although I should emphasize that its final location, not the specific way it gets there, is the important thing -- I can't recall the exact geometry of the station, and would encourage you not to drive your car into anything that looks like a giant crushing machine, despite what my map may say)

Hours are listed here.

Conflict Resolution

By majority vote, HacDC members may declare items unwanted at an official meeting. These items should then be disposed of immediately, and are not permitted to return without a similar vote taking place.

By majority vote, HacDC Board of Directors is authorized to identify cases of improper disposal, warn specific members that the disposal was improper, and if necessary, prohibit specific members involved from undertaking further disposal. Further, improper disposal by those members after this prohibition may be deemed as occurring without the permission of HacDC members. That may have legal implications.

Nothing in this policy establishes disciplinary measures to be automatically taken upon mistakes or abuse, nor is it to conflict with purchases, salvage, scrap disposal, or normal use of HacDC tools, materials, supplies, beverages, etc. However, it does set guidelines agreed upon by HacDC members, with the expectation that other members will make a good faith effort to abide them. The expectation is also set that members will make reasonable efforts to discourage theft by guests.