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  1. #1
    HipoGear started this thread.
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    County E-Waste Drop Off - Ethical Question

    So, my County just opened and ewaste drop off site last month. This is not a revenue stream for them. They are actually paying an electronics recycler just shy of $15k a year to take the stuff.

    I went today for the first time. I dropped off four DVD players, 3 CRTs and a scanner.

    This drop off is in an unmanned building. They have pallets and signs indicating where to put stuff. They unlock the door at 9am and lock it at 2 pm.



    So my question is ... since it is not a revenue stream and they are paying for removal, do you think doing a swap would be out of line? Say, drop off 5 printers and leave with one PC? I would just love to hear all your opinions on this. Thanks.


  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by HipoGear View Post
    So, my County just opened and ewaste drop off site last month. This is not a revenue stream for them. They are actually paying an electronics recycler just shy of $15k a year to take the stuff.

    I went today for the first time. I dropped off four DVD players, 3 CRTs and a scanner.

    This drop off is in an unmanned building. They have pallets and signs indicating where to put stuff. They unlock the door at 9am and lock it at 2 pm.

    So my question is ... since it is not a revenue stream and they are paying for removal, do you think doing a swap would be out of line? Say, drop off 5 printers and leave with one PC? I would just love to hear all your opinions on this. Thanks.
    Not okay without permission to do so, IMO
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  4. #3
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    I'd get in touch with the recycler and see about swaping items before doing so.

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  6. #4
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    Not without permission. It's not even a pound-for-pound swap, as there could be data on the theoretical computer. We had a drop-off center in the neighboring county for a while, and I was given permission to remove items. That's completely fine, but without permission is theft.

    Also, dropping off a bunch of CRTs is a nice form of revenge if they don't grant you permission
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  8. #5
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    Does it SOUND sneaky? If you said yes (and had to ask the ethical question for 2nd opinions), then your conscience is CORRECT. I mean it is an HONOR system and someone is getting PAID to take all of it (ie you are essentially stealing from that company). Same would be for taking things out of a companies rolloff.

    Call the company and ask them...heck you might have na outlet they don't (never know). You can also place a bid now when it is up for rebid.
    PROFIT is made when you BUY/ACQUIRE NOT when you sell

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  10. #6
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    Ethics
    other side of the coin
    If you got 15k to dispose of several tons of tv's and electronics
    would you want someone taking the pc's?
    Last edited by NHscrapman; 10-14-2015 at 06:25 PM.
    There ain't nothing wrong with an honest days work. Anyone who says otherwise is a fool.- Old Man

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  12. #7
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    This was a problem in the town I work in. People were taking computers, and T.V. sets, the bad part was the people would strip all of the goods out of the items and then return just the shell (tower casing, just the glass screen part of the monitor/t.v.set). Sadly the town closed the drop off point and now the residents need to drive a few towns away to a county landfill to dispose of their electronics.
    I would say check with the town or company.

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  14. #8
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    They are probably getting a credit for computers. My work pays $0.17/lbs for crts, $0.00 for printers/etc, but getting a $0.10/lbs credit for computers.

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  16. #9
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    I am sure you could take all you wanted and no one would know or care, except you! I would ask the worse thing they could say to you is no.

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  18. #10
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    As someone who has dealt with drives/collection events at the city and county level, don't do it. The amount of money made after all the CRTs and printers and stupid plastic consumer grade electronics is next to nothing, even when getting paid to recycle them. We just picked up a huge load of stuff a few weeks ago, and the whole time people were trying to drop off the worthless stuff and take the computers.

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  20. #11
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    It's similar but different in this area. The credo is Reduce,Reuse, and Recycle. The prime concern is to address the problem of lead & mercury and see to it that electronics items containing those things are properly disposed of. The big thing is the CRT's. The consensus of the scrappers in this area is that they are strictly off limits. The state pays the larger e-waste companies so much per unit so it's profitable for them.

    On the flip side .... the local consensus is that NO towers,desktops,laptops,tablets, or cell phones leave the community intact. Hard drives are either destroyed or wiped with a three pass overwrite that meets DOD standards. Memory cards & other type SSD's are made inoperable. The computers that can be refurbished are either sold or given to a family that's struggling to get by. The ones that are too old are recycled locally in a responsible way and it brings a little more money into the area from the outside world.

    If you think about it:

    1: The volume of e-waste leaving the community is reduced.

    2: Those things that can be reused are refurbished and put back into service.

    3: The rest get recycled in a responsible way.

    The big problem is that there's an ASSUMPTION that once a computer has been dropped off at the designated spot and picked up by a big recycler that it will be dealt with in a responsible way. The truth is that nobody really knows unless careful oversight is maintained. Laptops are especially labor intensive so it's more likely that they will be palatalized and shipped off to China or some third world nation for recycling. That's a pretty significant export of American data to countries that may not be our friends.

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  22. #12
    HipoGear started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrappah View Post
    On the flip side .... the local consensus is that NO towers,desktops,laptops,tablets, or cell phones leave the community intact. Hard drives are either destroyed or wiped with a three pass overwrite that meets DOD standards. Memory cards & other type SSD's are made inoperable. The computers that can be refurbished are either sold or given to a family that's struggling to get by. The ones that are too old are recycled locally in a responsible way and it brings a little more money into the area from the outside world.

    If you think about it:

    1: The volume of e-waste leaving the community is reduced.

    2: Those things that can be reused are refurbished and put back into service.

    3: The rest get recycled in a responsible way.

    The big problem is that there's an ASSUMPTION that once a computer has been dropped off at the designated spot and picked up by a big recycler that it will be dealt with in a responsible way. The truth is that nobody really knows unless careful oversight is maintained. Laptops are especially labor intensive so it's more likely that they will be palatalized and shipped off to China or some third world nation for recycling. That's a pretty significant export of American data to countries that may not be our friends.
    Our county is really small. They had to come up with a solution so this is what it is. The company should do the right thing and wipe hard drives before they resell. It would be a lot better though if something good were to come back to our county from it and that's not going to happen.

    This is the recycler's ebay shop sunnking on eBay

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    I think it all varies from place to place. Can't say as there's a right and a wrong to it as long as your heart is in the right place and you're trying to do something positive about the lead & mercury e-waste issue.

    I'm not a big fan of guvmiin't involvement in anything but it seems to work here. Years ago .... the state started a program where you pay a ten dollar disposal fee when you buy a new car or truck battery. That money goes into a fund and the large recyclers get paid to properly dispose of it when it reaches end of life. They did the same thing with bottles & cans where you pay a nickel deposit at the checkout.

    There's a similar thing going on with electronics here. There's a small disposal fee included in the price when you buy. Also ... the major electronics manufacturers have to pay a license fee if they intend to sell their products in our state. It artificially props up the electronics recycling effort and makes it a paying proposition for the larger companies doing e-waste.

    To give you a basis of comparison: Your county is paying 15 k. per year for electronics disposal. We receive about 500.00$ a year from the company that hauls off our e-waste. It's just a token but it's good to see somebody out there doing the right thing and having it also be a profitable business for them. The big boys appear to be doing really well.

    Edited to add:

    Just a afterthought and it's really not pertinent to the thread but:

    I was talking with one of the local scrappers last month. He does mostly copper & aluminum but also does the five cent returnables. (He's got some volunteers to help him with the bottles.) All of the bottle money goes into a scholarship fund to help local kids further their education after high school. I wouldn't have believe it but he showed me the books. There's over a hundred grand in the account now. By the time he retires the scholarship fund will be self sustaining.

    The civic organization that i'm a part of also does a similar thing but on a smaller scale.

    I guess the point would be that it is possible to have recycling be a paying proposition and a benefit to the community. It doesn't have to be a burden on the local budget.
    Last edited by Scrappah; 10-15-2015 at 07:48 AM.

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  25. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by HipoGear View Post
    Our county is really small. They had to come up with a solution so this is what it is. The company should do the right thing and wipe hard drives before they resell. It would be a lot better though if something good were to come back to our county from it and that's not going to happen.

    This is the recycler's ebay shop sunnking on eBay
    You might offer to destroy the hard drives for a fee like Parrot has started. Like from the local businesses and schools. He started out with the manual smasher/

    Heck, even offer your service to the drop off point to smash the H.D.s.
    P & M Recycling - Specializing in E-Waste Recycling.
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    The big problem is that there's an ASSUMPTION that once a computer has been dropped off at the designated spot and picked up by a big recycler that it will be dealt with in a responsible way. The truth is that nobody really knows unless careful oversight is maintained. Laptops are especially labor intensive so it's more likely that they will be palatalized and shipped off to China or some third world nation for recycling. That's a pretty significant export of American data to countries that may not be our friends.
    Don't know what state you are in but more likely than not it is going to a R2 certified company. Not that that is the best. One of the so called founders on R2 and the Basel Action Network found a loophole to sell processors on Ebay. He can do this because processors are not considered circuit boards so they can pretty do whatever they want with them. I talked to him and he said he is selling them for collector value even though he says in the title that they are for gold recovery.

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