Basic System Deconstruction
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What Do I do? Who do I ask?
Welcome to Recycling! Head over to the Recycling Check-In area by following the signs. The person approaching you is either a staff member or recycling intern. They can help you get started.
If no one is there, feel free to help yourself to gloves and safety glasses until someone shows up. You don't need safety glasses if you wear prescription glasses.
Volunteers are required to wear gloves and safety glasses while working in Recycling. They are available at Recycling's check-in area, where tools are lent out. If you'd like a dust mask, please ask and we will give you one. Closed-toed Shoes are also required.
Please also remember some common sense safety, like:
- No throwing of materials inside the warehouse or outside in the lot.
- Try to keep your area free of tripping hazards.
- The forklift is bigger than you, so PLEASE YIELD to it.
Where do I put it?
If it's your first time in Recycling, you'll get a full introduction by a staff person on where different materials go.
Big Boxes in front of me
- When standing at the recycling bench, you'll see signs above the gaylords (warehouse-sized cardboard boxes) describing the contents of each one. If you're unsure of where something goes, just ask.
- The "E-plastics" gaylord is the most finicky in that it generally contains NO metal. The only metal allowed into the plastic gaylord is brass, when it is molded into the plastic part.
- CBM gaylord is for Staff use only and is typically for small drives and mixed items that have plastic and metal.
Little boxes below the bench
There are 4 bins below each workspace at the bench.
- The smallest bin, in the upper-left, is for both speakers and fans including their wires.
- The upper-right bin is larger and it's for all drives except hard drives, which go back to the Recycling check-in desk. This upper-right bin is for Optical (CD & DVD), Floppy Disk Drives and others like Jazz, Zip, Tape, etc.
- The 2 lower bins are for circuit boards of any kind (mostly motherboards and cards if you're recycling computers). Nothing needs to be removed from motherboards, except wires/cords and other boards/cards that are plugged into the motherboard. Mobos are disassembled later in a separate step. No need to disassemble drives - that happens in a separate step too. If a processor or card comes loose, these can be put in with circuit boards.
Containers on top of the bench
Small steel parts and screws can go in the white container on top of the bench. The red bin is for small mixed items that are difficult/impossible to deconstruct like switches and plugs. The red bin is also a place for thin flexible plastic (not E-plastic), foam or any other small item that doesn't have another home.
If it's made of one material, it can go into its designated container/gaylord. Usually this means Thin Colored Wire, Ribbon Cable, Plastic with no metal attached, and rarely - Cords. When possible, remove screws and/or safely pry unlike materials apart without breaking them. If this isn't possible, put the small item in the red bin on top of the bench.