Ewaste Training

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Training in presentation form

OR e-cycles training

Terms to Know

  • Covered Electronic Device ("CED" or "Covered")
Television (includes LCDs)
Monitor (includes LCDs)
  • Covered Entity (CE)
A household
small business with 10 or fewer employees
small 501(c)(3) nonprofit with 10 or fewer employees
Anyone with 7 or fewer CED's
  • SCP
State Contractor Program, aka National Center for Electronics Recycling (NCER). Manufacturers pay NCER and then the NCER reimburses Free Geek

What to do if...

check out this page for some examples of the interplay between Covered Entities and Covered Electronic Devices

How to process Covered Electronic Devices

Since most of our donors are Covered Entities, there are significantly fewer mandatory fees. In Receiving items deemed "Uncovered/Non-CED" are labeled with a small sticker with the wording "Uncovered Device". Any customer donating more then 7 devices (systems, laptops, monitors or any combination of them) needs to be asked questions to determine covered or uncovered status. This way we can make sure that we're not being compensated illegally (and therefore, we are preserving the integrity of the program).

What does this mean? Here's a clarifying example.

Puppy Rescue, Inc. brings a truckload of gizmos to Free Geek including 25 CRT Monitors, 25 Systems, and 25 Laptops. Since Puppy Rescue, Inc. employs more than 10 workers, they are not a Covered Entity. Therefore, we accept 7 CED's free of charge. So 7 CRT's are counted as CED's (and left untagged) but the remaining 18 CRT Monitors, 25 Systems and 25 Laptops are tagged with "uncovered Device" sticker.

How to verify Covered Entity status

So, the only time we need to delve a little deeper into the donor's identity is when he/she drops off more than 7 Covered devices. For anyone with 8 or more, ask them to verbally verify that they're a covered entity and were the LAST USER of all the devices they are dropping off.

For example, a person from a local non-profit recently emailed info@ asking if Free Geek would waive the fees for donating the CRT monitors. I called her, asked if there were more than 10 paid staff. She said, yes, there were more than 10 paid staff and so I told her that we would accept the first 7 CRT monitors free of charge but the remainder would be $7 each (and that systems and laptops were free). In this example, her non-profit was not a Covered Entity and could, therefore, only donate 7 CED's for free.

If you are suspicious that someone is a non-covered entity with more than 7 at any time, you can feel free to blame the strict policies of the NCER and make them call Carson Maxted for verification of their status. As an occasional “covered entity” may show up with more than 7 CEDs, NCER asks that you call them only if you have serious questions about the source. NCER feels that Free Geek is capable of handling this on our own, as we are one of their largest collectors, and capable of dealing with out-of-system units properly. (Over time NCER may alter this procedure as the program matures but for now they ask that you call us when or if this happens.)

Carson W. Maxted: 503-501-8471

Why does this matter?

There are two reasons why it's important to distinguish between a Covered and Non-Covered Entity.

On the one hand, there's the whole money thing. If the donor is not a Covered Entity then the donor must pay for any CRT's over the 7 limit. For example, when Puppy Rescue, Inc. brings in 10 CRT Monitors we'll accept 7 for free and then charge them for the remaining 3. BUT, if Joe brings in 10 CRT Monitors (and verifies that he was the end user of the CRT's) then we'd accept them all for free.

On the other hand, it's important for us to track Uncovered devices as they travel through the building. All Uncovered Devices must be tagged for accurate accounting all the way through disbursement or recycling.

What's going to happen in Prebuild?


Systems come in from receiving and go in the same INCOMING pile that they "always" have. System Evaluation will determine whether a computer falls into one of three categories:

Red Light Computers
STOP! This is new. It is for computers that we want no parts from at all. We'll get a little reimbursement money out of these in addition to whatever scrap material value they'll have.
PROCEED WITH CAUTION! Yellow Light Computers
This is just like the old RECYCLE or REJECT category. These systems will not be reused, but parts will be taken out of them for possible reuse.
GO! Green Light Computers
This is just like the old KEEPER category. These systems will be lightly mined and sent to the warehouse for storage.

Case Management and Hardware Identification won't be affected too, too much. When they encounter a red light computer they will simply pull the hard drive and drop it on the floor near the hard drive bin (not in the bin). The computer then goes on the cart (with all its parts) and the hard drive gets whacked. Yellow light computers get treated just like the recyclers always have been. The net effect is that the job will get a little easier (less mining).

Hardware Sorting won't change at all. Except that there will be fewer components to sort.

Prebuild trainers, staff in charge of the area, volunteer interns, etc., will do meta-triage a little differently (looking for automatic red or yellow light computers). They will also need to deal with the cart differently. I'm expecting we'll want a two cart system. A "keeper" cart for green light computers, and a "recycle" cart for red light and yellow light computers. This will change the tally sheets a bit. Also, I expect the recycle labels to change as a result of this.

Rejected computers, coming from elsewhere in the building will need to be considered to be yellow light computers, since they may have been mined for parts (and thus are considered to be "reuse" computers by the Oregon eCycles folks).

(NOTE: Laptops, Macs, and Servers will want to adopt something like the red light, yellow light, green light sorting as well.)

What's going to happen with Laptops?

Laptops (from Covered Entities) with no reuse value will have their hard drives removed and then will be placed in a gaylord to be shipped out to Total Reclaim. Laptops (not from Covered Entities – they have a sticker) with no reuse value will be processed as usual, but placed in a different gaylord

Other changes

  • relationships with other collection sites, e.g. ici computers
  • Tally form in Receiving
  • Warehouse changes