Excess Disposal

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Revision as of 10:28, 26 November 2013 by Mirage335 (talk | contribs)

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

  • Donations not meeting the "Stays at HacDC Criteria" should be refused at the door if at all possible.
  • Lower value donations (ie. thinkgeek toys, keyboards, etc) should be ideally labeled "free for all, will be summarily disposed of in two weeks," to that effect.
  • Items already at HacDC not meeting the criteria should be moved to the going out pile.
  • Leased items at HacDC should be immediately and clearly labeled with lender's name by permanent pen, tape, etc.

Stays at 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, and should be disposed of ASAP.

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 "Stays at HacDC Criteria" should not be added to this pile except in dire need.

Members are welcome to bid on these items, or return them to service or storage at HacDC.


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 are set in the following table.

Item Limit Comments
Laptops 30 Identical sets of laptops in greater quantities may be desirable for classes.
Desktops 20 Prior to disposal, valuable components should be taken out. This includes desoldering capacitors, inductors, crystals, MOSFETs, etc.
WYSE Terminals 50 Some boot USB with fewer problems than others. Those are the ones to save. Also, RAM may be salvaged from the undesirable units.
LCD Monitors 30 Prefer higher resolution displays, especially >1080p.
CRT Monitors, TVs, etc. 10 Larger is better. Useful mainly for elementary particle physics experiments.
Full Size Oscilloscopes 15 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

Expired items on the going out pile should be disposed of ASAP as follows:

Do It Yourself (yes, really!)

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

  • Take it home. Expired items on the outgoing pile are available to all.
  • Throw it in an empty dumpster we are authorized to use, within reason.
  • Take it to the dump.

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.


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.