Junk Salvage Days

It has always been our plan to have regularly repeating Junk Salvage
Days to get rid of items that no one is using that are taking up
space. ( http://wiki.hive13.org/Junk_Rules )

We did a good job back in June/July of getting rid of a lot of stuff
and straightening up a bit. We forgot to keep doing it every month.

I put a repeating event on our Google Calendar on the Second Saturday
of each month called "Junk Salvage Day" starting at 11am and going to
2pm. This was just a guesstimate on my part.

If anyone can be there this Saturday, then by all means please do come
down and do some junk processing. If the second Saturday of the month
isn't going to work, I can move it. I just picked a date so that we
would have a starting point.

To get started, we need to re-establish a junk zone where items can be
moved. I think taping off an area of the floor in 1C worked well, so
if nothing else on Saturday someone could do that.


Should we maybe tape off an area in the “Dirty Room”? Since I believe the ultimate goal is to put junk/storage there, no?

Yes, that's the eventual plan. A good bit of the stuff in that room
is probably trash/recycling.

I think 1C is too valuable of a space to dedicate soley to this, and the corner of 2D (where the freestanding rocket sculpture was) would make a better location. I think the dirty room 3D is too much out of the way and it is too easy to forget what is in there, also it is still too large of a location for this.

A smaller zone where we actually use the rules we have developed for this purpose would make more sense. When items are put in the zone they are tagged with a date (Masking tape + sharpy) then follow our established rules of 3 weeks and it has to be gone, be it stripped and recycled or trashed.


Map of the zones we are talking about.

I believe 2D is designated for general tool storage due to is central
location between the woodworking / open projects area and the main
work areas of 3B and 3C. I too expressed concern about 3D becoming a
"hidden" area where trash is dumped and forgotten, but I believe a
robust sorting and repeated breakdown / store / recycle / trash
process can alleviate those concerns.


yes, that was the eventual consensus: that being able to keep those
things out of site is important, but so too is a regular schedule of

i think that a monthly event for such an activity would be good, it's
often enough to not let things get out of hand, yet infrequent enough
that we don't spend all of our time taking things apart.

would it make sense to co-locate the "new arrival" section where new
stuff goes, with the "to be destroyed" section, so that there is
regular foot traffic to the place where things go to die?

I think putting the stuff in sight makes more sense because it provides an impetus for us to remove the pile before it becomes too unsightly while also allowing more people to see what is present in the “In and Out” zones. A more practical concern is that currently most of the area in the Dirty Room is being used for storage, and we would need to remove the stuff that is in there now in order to set up In // Out zones. Currently there are two 65’’ (I think) TV’s, two rolling carts, the boxes, and a supply of various wood products (2x4’s, plywood). I just feel that it would be easier to set it up where the rocket was because then we can implement the “In // Out” zones immediately rather than just planning something that we can delay.

I have several concerns with a purely “Monthly” purge where each month we would completely empty out the “out” zone.

  1. Members who irregularly visit the hackerspace are at a disadvantage. They have to come down at specific days in order to make sure parts of their projects are not being scrapped or check to see if there is anything in the zone that they might want.
  2. There is no way to tell how long an item has been in the scrap zone, it could have been there a day or a month. This means that while we might set up rules to not put anything in the scrap zone a week before the scrapping, it still means that some items will have been there 3 weeks and others only a week. A
  3. If someone forgets the rule then it is possible that an item will be trashed that was not supposed to be in that section.
  4. Last time we tried it, it ended up being a massive confusion of “Ok, you can put stuff in the area, wait no you can’t, don’t take it out now, ok, take it out, oh wait, now we are scrapping items tomorrow”
  5. As a group we voted on a more cyclical method that appears on the Junk Rules wiki page, yet have never actually tried to implement it.

I say we try the actual labeling of stuff to see if it works first. We could possibly even combine the two methods.

  1. Stuff arriving gets its arrival date marked on a piece of masking tape and stuck to the item.
  2. Items that have been in the “In” zone for more than a specified period of time get moved to the “Out” zone.
  3. Items entering the “Out” zone are marked with the date they were placed in the “Out” zone.
  4. Every 3rd Saturday of the month we scrap // trash all “expired” items in the “Out” zone.
    According to our current, voted upon rules for items in an “out” zone the expiration period is 3 weeks. If we follow these rules of labeling and monthly purges, then I do not think we need a very large area and it will allow for maximum possibility that an item will be re-used rather than sent to a landfill.

Also, the last couple times we scheduled “purge” days, Only Hodapp and I showed up and the time before that I think only Thurman, DaveM, and maybe Hodapp (?) showed up, so that is something else I feel we need to work on when we do this. Although, if we keep this regular the quantity in the “out” pile should be much more manageable.

A final point, I notice that we are planning on doing a “Junk Processing” date this saturday. I think this is a bad idea to do this on such short notice. Last time we bent the rules only giving 2 weeks of warning instead of the required 3, in this case we only have 3 days warning which is most certainly not enough. If instead we are using this up-coming day to organize the system rather than actually processing items, then I fully support it, but I would argue strongly against actually disposing of items this coming Saturday without first allowing people to see what is being disposed.

those are very valid concerns. i think that some of them can be
addressed with personal storage, some of them with ed's tiered storage
system, and some of them with a labeling system of some kind for large
projects in a dedicated large project area.

another issue to consider is the appearance of the space during events
and open nights, which we are hoping to increase significantly in year
two. as we add members and events, cleaning things up before an event
may not be possible, especially if there is an event every night, or
better yet, multiple things happening each and every night, the
clutter will have to go somewhere out of the way and be dealt with
pretty regularly.

as for you and hodapp being the only ones to sort things, hopefully
the regular occurrence of sorting days, and the addition of members
will help with that.

I agree with all the points you've made here. Mainly I was trying to
get the conversation started again.

I support a system that uses labels rather than zones because this is
easier to understand, takes up less space, and is less time consuming.
Also, a system with labels wouldn't even have to be synced to a
monthly schedule if the labels were dated. Each item could be dealt
with individually on it's own schedule.

I also realize that this was short notice. I just picked a date. How
about the first Saturday of the month so that it coincides with the UC
surplus sale?

In my mind, the main activity on a Junk Salvage Day shouldn't be
sorting through old junk, but rather simply taking anything that is
expired out to the trash / recycling. In a sense, it's just a "last
call" before the item disappears. People that want to show up and
take stuff apart or save stuff can do so on the given day, but at the
end of the day, the junk should go away. I think this has been our
weakness so far. We haven't been able to take a lot of stuff out to
the dumpsters. An example would be the one arcade cabinet with the
"trash" post-it note taped on it. I would say that if that cabinet is
still there on Saturday, it should be tossed in the dumpster.

I'll probably only be able to be there for a short while this
Saturday, but one reason I picked it is that I'm busy every other
Saturday this month. If we want to start off on all of this stuff on
Oct 2nd instead, that is fine by me. I just don't want to put it off

People have expressed interest in coming down to the Hive for "work
days" to get stuff done. What if we re-brand this Saturday as a
general Get Stuff Done day. Who all would actually show up? I still
need to post the link to the task list we came up with last
Saturday... let's see here...



I do like the idea of setting one day a month as the “Disposal” date and I feel that the “In // out” zone are important. If we just label stuff without zones, then there is too much opportunity for items to be passed over and ignored. Using labels keeps us organized and prevents inadvertent disposals while being fair to everyone. Setting one day a month to clear out “expired” items keeps us honest and prevents us from shirking our responsibility to keep the space clear. It also provides us with a day to get together and destroy, er salvage, items.

I do not have a problem with people meeting this weekend to kick stuff off, but I think it should be just that, a “kick off” and not a “kick out the door”. We can initiate the process of setting up the zones (temporary if nessessary with knowledge we will move it in the future) and moving items to the zone and labeling with them with the the date they were moved into the zone, this weekend, and see how it goes.

As for disposing items immediate there are a couple logistic concerns, namely: How late are the recycling centers open? and are there any hazardous waste disposal locations open late on a Saturday? If they are open, what time do they close? This will mean we need to have a set start and end time for the clearing sessions. I have a new car (yay!) and it has a pretty good storage area, I would not mind making a trip someplace at the end of the day and dropping off items where they need to go, but we need to figure this out before Saturday.

While I would prefer to have the zones in an open area, I do not feel strongly enough about their location to really debate it. I do however feel just having a known location for “In” items and “Out” items is important.

Just my 4 cents (had to double it to keep up with the parking meters downtown):

If we go with an In/Out zone label system, the labels should explicitly state ‘In’ or ‘Out’ to help avoid uncertainty on whether any given item is Coming or Going.


Or wait, maybe I’m not understanding the zone system well enough…

good point, I was thinking just hanging a roll of masking tape next to the area with a sharpy (also on a string you thieves). We can post guidelines behind the area.

The zones would be just a taped off areas on the floor, probably next to each other, one labeled “In” the other zone labeled “Out”. Once we find a more permanent location, maybe we could paint something on the floor.

I will be up to the hackerspace around 11:30 today.

The plans I had for later today are eating into the morning. It doesn’t look like I’ll be able to get there this morning. Possibly later tonight though…