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 be able to get you 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.

Safety Introduction

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) showing the contents of each one. If you're unsure of where something goes, just ask.
  • The plastic gaylord is the most finicky in that it generally contains absolutely NO metal. The only metal allowed into the plastic gaylord is brass, when it is molded into the plastic part.

Containers on top of the bench

Small steel parts and screws can go in the round containers on top of the bench.

Small random parts

If it's made of one material, it can go into its designated container/gaylord. Small parts that are a mix of plastic & metal generally go into the CBM gaylord where CD-ROMs and floppy drives go. When possible, remove screws and/or safely pry unlike materials apart.

Little boxes below the bench

Below each of the benches are 4 bins. The smallest bin, usually upper-left, is for both speakers and fans. The other 3 larger bins are for circuit boards of any kind (mostly motherboards if you're recycling computers) & anything that might contain a circuit board - mostly drives (DVD drives, CD drives, Floppy drives, Tape drives). Nothing needs to be removed from motherboards, they are disassembled later in a separate step. No need to disassemble drives - that happens in a separate step too.