WEBINAR ~ MAY 29, 2012

LIZ PERSAUD: Good afternoon, everybody. This is

Liz with the Pass It On Center. I just wanted to say


And we're going to go ahead and get started on

today's webinar. It looks to be about that time, 2 o'clock

p.m. Eastern.

We're very excited that each one of you are on

today. It looks like we've got a great number of folks on

signing in and a few more jumping on as we're getting

started, so that's great to see.

We're very excited about today's webinar. Today is

actually the first time that we are using our new webinar

system, thanks to our partnership with Caroline Van Howe

and ATIA.

This is the Adobe Connect webinar system. I'm sure

many of y'all have realized, Oh, this is a new webinar

system; what's going on here? So we're trying to work

through a few sound issues.

Before we continue on with today's webinar topic,

which is focused on e-waste and recycling for smaller AT

reuse programs, I am actually going to hand the microphone

over to Caroline Van Howe with ATIA so she can do a brief

orientation of the webinar room so you all can interact

with us via microphone or via chat over on the right-hand


So, Caroline, I'll release the mic and (audio

skipped) . . .

And welcome again. And as you can see, it's our

new webinar system, and we're getting used to some sound.

Hopefully everyone can see the PowerPoint, the

opening slide for the PowerPoint today. It's the Pass It

On Center logo. We have a photo on the right-hand side of

an image of a computer with a recycling symbol around it.

The background is blue.

And we have today's live speakers. We've got Mike

Friend from Access Alaska. Carolyn Phillips with the Pass

It On Center is here with me today, and I'm going to be

passing the microphone over to her in just a few moments.

And again, I'm Liz Persaud.

So today's webinar is focused on e-waste and

recycling for smaller AT reuse programs.

Over on the right-hand side there is a column that

says "Attendees." You should see on the upper right-hand

side we have the list of hosts that are in the room. So

we've got all of our speakers. We've got Caroline from

ATIA; myself and Carolyn Phillips; Trish Redmon, who is a

consultant with the Pass It On Center.

Hello, Trish. Good to see you on.

She's on there today as well too.

Underneath the hosts we have a list of

participants. It looks like we've got about 16 individuals

on with us today and more signing in. And that way you can

check out all of the speakers that are in the room. I

believe you can private chat with other speakers as well

too. If you right click their name, you can send a little

"hello" behind the scene.

Underneath there it has a chat box. Just as we did

in the older (audio skipped) . . . And you can say

"hello," you can ask a question, and you can leave a

comment for any one of us as we're presenting today. So

that's a great way to interact with us.

I don't believe that we have microphones -- mics

set up for everyone, but we can certainly use the chat area

if you have any questions. And we can try and release the

mic if there's any difficultly for anyone using the chat

system or if we need to share the microphone with everyone.

We also wanted to let you know that today's webinar

is being archived, and we will get that posted up on the

Pass It On Center webinar page on the website within three

to four weeks.

We have our transcriptionist, Kimberly, on today.

And we will have the audio of the webinar up, the

PowerPoint, as well as the written transcription or the

text transcription.

We are offering credits for today's webinar. We're

offering CEUs and CRCs.

So for CEUs, the way you would go about applying

for CEUs is they're being administered through the Georgia

Tech professional education.

To receive your verification form, you would

actually send an e-mail to this e-mail address that's up

here. It's transcripts@pe.gatech.edu. And you would send

an e-mail with your name, your title, the date of the

webinar, your date of birth, and organization.

They do need your date of birth because they have

to check that against their database to make sure that

folks are in or not in their system already. So that way,

if you're requesting CEUs for another Pass It On Center

webinar, it will be really easy for you to get that

verification form from them.

If you have any questions, you can always e-mail

me, and I can send you the information behind the scenes.

If you are interested in receiving CRCs, Tools For

Life is authorized to administer that, and it's approved

through the CRCC, which is the Commission on Rehabilitation

Counselor Certification.

And in order to receive your verification form,

you're going to send me -- liz@passitoncenter.org -- an

e-mail with your name, your organization, basically your

address, and all of your contact information. And I will

send you the verification form after today's webinar. And

again, it's liz@passitoncenter.org.

At the end of the webinar, we have an evaluation

that we would love for you to fill out. It takes about

five minutes. It's very brief, just some general

information on your experience with today's webinar -- the

content, the speakers.

So we really appreciate all of you who have been on

before that are signing on to SurveyMonkey and filling out

the information for us. We really do listen to your

feedback, your suggestions for future webinars.

This is one that we have listened to. This is one

that was suggested previously. And so we're happy to be on

here today to provide this information to you.

So today's speakers are myself -- Liz Persaud --

and Carolyn Phillips with the Pass It On Center. And then

we've got Mike Friend with the independent living center

Access Alaska, and he is their Information and Referral


And I want to make sure that everyone can hear me.

I just had some horrible feedback just now. So hopefully

everyone can still hear me. I think we're okay.

And then we also -- okay. Great. Thank you. I

appreciate that.

And then we also have additional contributions from

Tri-County Independent Living in Eureka, California. And

I'll be going over some of their information very briefly.

They want us to share some information. It's very helpful,

and so we'll be presenting that on their behalf towards the

end of the webinar.

We have three learning objectives that we've

created so all of y'all will be able to take away these

specific objectives throughout the webinar and at the end

of the webinar.

So the first one is defining e-waste and learning

about the hazardous consequences of improper disposal. The

second one is identifying three resources to assist in

proper disposal of e-waste. And then you can also learn

about how the AT reuse program can be successful in

identifying proper equipment. So those are the three

learning objectives that y'all should be able to take away

from today's webinar.

So with that being said, I'm going to pass the mic

to Carolyn Phillips to go over recycling and e-waste.

CAROLYN PHILLIPS: Okay. Thank you, Liz. And I'm

hoping that everybody can hear me. If you will give me a

little sign that you can, that would be great. I think

somebody did say yes. Yep. Okay. Thank you. I

appreciate that, Denise and Jamie. Thank you so much.

So this is, indeed, a very important topic. It's

one of those, just like Liz was saying, that we have had

many requests for because not everybody operates a huge

reuse program. And so, you know, it becomes a different

ball game, if you will, depending on the scale and size of

your reuse program and what it is you're trying to


And just like Liz was saying, we're thrilled that

Mike Friend is with us. I met him this summer and actually

got to visit his site and learned a lot from him.

And so, Mike, I'm glad you're with us.

And so all of you will learn a lot from him also.

It's a great thing you're doing up there.

So it always helps us to define things first so we

can move forward from a basic foundation and understanding

of what we're really talking about here.

And so I'm going to define recycling first.

"Disposal of an item at the end of its useful life,

sometimes for breakdown into parts or materials for further

use, sometimes for disposal as waste with no value."

I use the example often that recycling is, you

know, taking water bottles for (audio skipped) . . . and

then turning them into carpet or something like that where

you actually can transform what it is that you're actually

recycling. It's definitely end of use.

A lot of times people use "reuse" and "recycling"

interchangeably, but they're very different concepts. And

it's interesting because my son, who is six years old, came

home and was explaining this to me the other day, and I was

like, "I know. I know the difference."

So it's definitely something that we're seeing a

lot of other folks are being taught early on in school

about the difference between recycling and reuse.

And then e-waste is a term for waste that's

comprised of devices with electronic components. So

e-waste, electronic waste. That's what that "e" stands


And so what we're going to do is walk you through

some of the resources and policies you want to consider and

other things that can be helpful when it comes to resources

and knowing how you can really approach doing this in a

legally safe, environmentally safe, and ethically safe way.

So some resources that we wanted to make sure you

were aware of -- and we're very thankful, by the way, that

Trish Redmon, who helped pull this whole PowerPoint

together -- she's also the person who makes sure that our

knowledge base is up to date and does an outstanding job

with that.

And you can go on to our passitoncenter.org, that's

all spelled out, p-a-s-s-i-t-o-n-c-e-n-t-e-r-.-o-r-g, and

go to the knowledge base, which is backslash content. And

you can look for "E-Waste Memo For Legal Guidance."

There's a memo in there that's very helpful. We've also

got presentations about e-waste and recycling.

And then we also have information from Kansas. How

to locate a -- thank you, Liz.

LIZ PERSAUD: Reputable.

CAROLYN PHILLIPS: A real good recycler. That word

is a little hard for me to say.

But anyway, so how do you find that person, how do

you find that group, and how do you develop that

relationship, which is very, very important? You want to

do a lot of good research when it comes to developing that


Some other useful websites:

Electronicsrecycling.org. They're doing a lot of

good gathering of information and even some good advocacy,

and it can be very helpful. You can give them a call,

actually, and they'll be happy to help you too.

And then you can also get good information from our

EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, which is epa.gov.

There was a company that went out of business in

our community, and they were like, "Hey, you can have 200

computers." But those 200 computers had all been scrapped

really. So they inherited a bunch of scrap metal, which

they didn't have a process to get rid of that, so that was

not helpful.

So doing that evaluation of usability and making

sure that somebody actually puts their eyes on it and they

actually interact with this equipment to see if it's


And then what are the storage protocols? You want

to be careful about this. Way back about, gosh, I would

say even seven years ago or five years ago -- and we still

are seeing the monitors with the CRT, you know, in there,

the tubes in there.

Those could be pretty dangerous. I remember people

actually telling stories of how they could explode; or if

they were dropped, they would shatter; and all kinds of

things would happen. There are chemicals that could be

leaked even from some of the monitors that we used, the

flat-screen monitors.

So making sure that we handle and sort those in a

way that's responsible and making sure that your protocol

is solid and that not only are they great on paper, but

they're actually good in practice.

And then the end-of-life disposal. So what is it

that you're going to do? So assigning the responsibility

for implementation of the policies and the procedures to

specific staff members. Do you have it in their job

description? Make sure that somebody owns it and that

they're the lead. And that's what we mean when we say we

need to have a plan.

So donation policies. We would encourage you to

devise a thoughtful policy that really does work for you

that specifies the categories of devices you're going to


You need to be very specific about the condition,

and that's okay. I think that a lot of times people --

they don't want to offend other folks, especially in the

South. We just want to be careful and not offend anybody.

But honestly, people don't want to sink your programs, and

so you want to make sure that you don't get a white

elephant, if you will, that you actually are getting things

you can use.

So you can be very specific about the condition.

And you'll hear about that a little bit more with the

programs that we've researched and that Trish has spoken

with and from our friend Mike.

But you can say, "I want equipment that's working,"

or, "I want it to be only a year old," or, "I want it to be

at least able to operate a certain" -- I guess a certain

operating system, what have you.

You can also limit by age. You can limit by type.

You can say, "I'm not going to accept power wheelchairs.

I'm only going to accept manual wheelchairs, and the manual

wheelchairs are only this old." Or you could say, "I'm

going to accept power wheelchairs, but they have to be

within this time frame." Or you could say the same thing

for CCTVs.

Hearing aids and other technologies have evolved

tremendously even in the last six months. And so paying

attention to those evolutions of technology and making sure

that you're staying up to date. Because it's great if you

have things that work.

I, for example, have seen things like liberators

and other alternative augmentative communication devices

that are absolutely fabulous. They were built 20 years

ago, and they still work, but no one wants to lug those

around because they weigh so much.

So you can think about all those things and put a

limit to it. And you can, as we said, limit the types,

what it is specifically that you'd like.

And we'd also encourage you to devise methods of

communicating the donation policies to your potential

donors. And really practice this with your team, with your

volunteers. Look at the wording. We've got some great

examples in our knowledge base of how people have done this

in a respectful way.

And then train the staff in a polite way on how to

refuse unacceptable devices. That can be a little tough

because I've actually seen where that has not gone well.

And you just want to make sure that you're not offending

folks, especially if it's equipment that's being donated

because someone has passed.

Sometimes -- I know some programs I just would

encourage them to go ahead and just accept it because of

the situation. And so paying attention to the timing of

when people are showing up at your door.

So it's really -- just like I said a few moments

ago, it's a balancing act, and figuring out how do you

weigh encouraging donations of electronic devices versus

limiting donations to those that really have value for your


And so we're going to hopefully help you figure

some of that out and give you some examples about how other

people have worked that out.

So if you're evaluating -- I've got a picture up

here -- Trish put a picture up here of a gentleman who's

working on a power wheelchair, and there's lots of -- oh, a

manual wheelchair. Sorry. And there's lots of equipment

that's behind him, all kinds of parts that have obviously

been stripped. There are batteries behind him. And he's

actively working on this.

So he's doing an evaluation, basically, for

end-of-life disposal. So you want to see, is it broken

beyond repair? Is it too expensive to repair? Is it

unsafe to be assigned to somebody else? Would it take too

long to get this up and running? It's repairable, but how

much time are you going to invest in it? Does it not meet

the acceptable specifications for your program?

And usable parts that can be removed. Do they have

usable parts that you need? Does this piece of equipment

fit those specifications?

And then we also want you -- and there's an alert

up here, so pay attention to has that device been recalled

or discontinued? And we actually, on our Pass It On Center

website, have a little area for recalls. And Liz keeps

that up to date. And so you can always go there and check

that out and see if there have been any recalls.

So the other thing that we would encourage you to

think about is storage.

There's a great icon -- or picture here with a --

it looks like a -- it is a keyboard, and it's got a big red

button that says "Help" where the "enter" key would have

been. And so I like that image. I'm actually going to

store it for another presentation I've got.

But that's what you really have to think about is

you need a lot of help when you're thinking about storage.

Where are you going to store the materials that are waiting

for disposal? Where are you going to store the materials

that you have scrapped and you've cannibalized that you're

going to keep some of the parts?

And when I've worked with different reuse programs

throughout our wonderful country and seen all the great

work that folks are doing, I see a lot of folks keeping

parts that they may or may not ever use.

And so also having a plan of what are you going to

do with these parts if you don't use them, and do you have

a time frame for that when it comes to storage? And how do

you make those tough storage decisions?

I know a lot of folks that save every single thing,

including screws and nuts and bolts and all kinds of

things. And then there are others that are really willing

to let things go. And so trying to find the balance there.

And how do you avoid being overwhelmed with

e-waste? So those are some of the things you need to think

about when it comes to storage. I've actually seen where

it can be unsafe if you don't handle it in a safe and

appropriate way when it comes to the storage.

So some other things we'd want you to consider is

the breakdown into components. So we set aside usable

parts for repair for other devices, and you identify

components that may have value for resale.

For example, aluminum and copper. Amazing what the

prices are right now. Gold is through the roof.

The other day near our office here at Georgia Tech,

I saw a guy with -- literally he had a wheelbarrow, and he

was walking it down the street to the recycler -- the

metals recycler. And it was a wheelbarrow full of all

kinds of metals.

And I asked him, "How much do you think you're

going to get for that wheelbarrow full of equipment?"

He's like, "Oh, probably $200."

And I was like, "Oh, I need to get my wheelbarrow

and fill it up." So -- because we are seeing metals at an

all-time high.

Then options for disposal, "recycling" in

parentheses here, of unusable devises and parts. So waste

systems that are operated by government. Not every waste

system accepts e-waste. A lot of them don't.

And what about commercial recyclers? Does your

commercial recycler accept e-waste? And does it accept the

type of equipment that you're trying to get rid of?

And then also some manufacturer programs. There

are some out there to be considered and to really look at.

And you can find, sometimes just going across the county

line, that there might be different rules and regulations

that might be able to assist you.

So we've got some things to think about when we're

talking about locating a responsible recycler. And this is

one of those things that, even if you have a small program,

a relatively small program, you want to think about this.

Who are you going to recycle your equipment with? And

making sure, once again, that you have that positive


If you must go with a commercial recycler, here are

some of the questions we would encourage you to ask:

What do they do with equipment that you want to

recycle? What are they going to do with it? And it's okay

to ask that. Because if they're going to put it in a

wheelbarrow and walk it down the street, you want to know

that. If they're going to -- maybe they do the recycling

themselves. I've seen that before. I've seen all kinds of

variations in between.

And then you also want to find out what their

landfill policy is. You know, what is it that they are

going to do with the equipment?

And then what percentage of the materials that they

collect is recycled, and what percentage is taken to the

landfill? It's one of those questions that you do want to


And I have found that this is where it's helpful to

actually go visit your recycler and get to see or

experience what it is that they're doing, because that will

tell a lot of the story.

How organized are they? Do they really have a

method that's working? And just paying attention to that,

because the last thing you want to see is your equipment in

a river, which we have seen. And you don't want to see


And then how are they going to dispose of

batteries? Do they even know what you're talking about

when you're talking about the appropriate disposal of a

battery? And making sure that you're speaking the same


You don't necessarily have to know exactly how to

recycle a battery, but you do need to know that there is a

process to it, and it's dangerous just to throw those away.

And I think, by this time and day and age, that most people

do know that. But not everybody does.

And then you could also ask them who processes the

metal. So where are they taking it, once again, and who's

going to process that metal?

And you can also ask if they have an e-waste

permit. And these are real things that people get, and you

can get even more information on the EPA site about that.

So here are some of the issues that you want to

make sure that you're managing. So you want to first

consider legal. What are the federal laws, state laws,

local ordinances that you need to operate within?

It's definitely worth investigating those things

and paying attention to those things. I think that a lot

of times people break these without really knowing it, or

they don't even -- I guess by not having a process, then

they're breaking the law in some ways because they just

leave things lying about.

I was visiting a reuse program in another state,

and I couldn't believe when they showed me the program.

Literally they opened the back doors, and it looked like a

graveyard of wheelchairs and computers and all kinds of

equipment that had been out in the rain and snow and wind.

And it looked terrible.

And I was thinking, gosh, this all needs to be

given to an end-of-life recycler, and we need to start

over. And it definitely was breaking some of the state

laws and some of the local ordinances. And I had looked

that up before I went to visit this program, and I was able

to show them that.

And sure enough, we were able to get the program up

and operating in a different way. And it's now amazing how

many more people they're serving and how much more

effective they are, which is exciting. It's great to see

those kinds of stories and know that we can really make a

change just by educating each other.

And then also the financial aspect. So minimizing

the costs for storage and also the costs for disposal.

That's important to pay attention to those. I think a lot

of times people don't realize that they're literally

throwing money out the door by not managing their

end-of-life recycling in a more effective way.

And then, once again, looking at the storage and

avoiding unwanted donations and making sure that folks are

indeed giving you what you want and making sure that your

communication is very clear.

If you want more information about that, Liz has

done a great job. She is a marketing whiz, and she has

given us a lot of good information. And so have our other

friends and partners around the country -- Helen Baker in

Alabama, and Dorothy in Mississippi and some other folks --

who have showed us, here are some good ways to market.

And so check out the archived marketing materials

that we have, both in the knowledgeable base and also in

the webinars. And they can walk you through some of that.

And then, once again, the disposal. So your legal

responsibilities. And also convenience. So paying

attention to all of those things, all of those factors.

So some of the environmental issues. Potential

harm to human beings and the environment from e-waste.

Leakage is what they call this or breakdown of toxic

substances into the groundwater or the air.

And at the Learning Disabilities Association

Conference four years ago -- no, it was five years ago --

the keynote speaker actually was talking about high

incidence of people with learning disabilities that live

near landfills. And they were talking specifically about


So it was very interesting to see that be a keynote

address. And first time I'd ever seen an environmentalist

be the keynote address at the Learning Disabilities

Conference -- International Learning Disabilities


But I think that's something worth paying attention

to, that are we creating more folks with disabilities and

creating very unhealthy environments for folks just because

we're not taking care of our environment and because of

this leakage issue.

So it's something that's real. We have,

unfortunately, enough documentation to say that, yes, this

is indeed happening.

Also, the way we're using our land. Recently I was

doing some work in Hawaii. And it's fascinating on one

hand and kind of scary on the other.

I asked them specifically, "What do you do with

your e-waste?" And it was a great group that I was

speaking with, and we had a good conversation about it.

And they have to be incredibly thoughtful because

it is a real problem. Because it's not about shipping it

to the desert or putting it in the neighbor's yard or

putting it two states over, because they definitely have to

address it right there, and they have to be really

progressive about this.

And I think there's a lot that our fellow citizens

over in Hawaii could teach us about that, the way that we

could use the land.

And then also the cost of landfill disposal.

Thankfully the cost has gone up, in some ways, depending on

who you are. I think that's a good thing, because often

that's what gets people talking and thinking in different


So some of the legal issues. There's the federal

legal issues. I told you I'd get a little bit more

specific here. People -- you know, federally, you have to

comply with the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency.

And that website and the folks at the EPA are a

wealth of information when it comes to helping you comply.

And it's very clear about when you are in compliance and

when you're out of compliance. So we would encourage you

to pay attention to that.

The other one that kind of crosses into this is

actually OSHA. So the OSHA, which handles mostly safety

and health issues, they have a lot of great recommendations

and things that you want to consider when it comes to


And once again, I would encourage you to go to our

webinars in our Pass It On Center knowledge base to think

about what some of the storage issues are and how that can

help you. But OSHA definitely has some good information to

think about when you're thinking about federal compliance.

And then state. It's important that you know your

state laws. And I have spent more time than I care to

admit looking at state laws about this topic in particular.

There's some really good websites. And as we said,

the electronicsrecycling.org website can give you good

information about specific states. And I encourage you to

know what your laws are.

And we can also tie that into funding or

sustainability down the road if you could somehow tap into

maybe getting funding from your "Keep, whatever your state

is, Beautiful" or "Keep Your City Beautiful," what have


And then local. Look at your city and your county

ordinances, and see what it is that you're supposed to be

living within. What are these rules and regulations that

you should be living and operating within?

And then also try to get them on your side when it

comes to maybe doing a drive. We have seen several reuse

programs that have been the backbone for getting their

cities and their counties to actually do a drive.

And that's great because it's a good way to

interact. It's a good way to let folks know that you're

around. It's a good collaboration. And it also cuts down

on your costs. So most of the folks that I know that have

done that have either gotten money from doing this.

There's one group that we've worked with -- it was

a small reuse program -- that that's actually how they fund

their reuse program. They get $15,000 a year to person --

I was going to say "man," but they get it to person the --

to gather all the volunteers and organize and advertise the

recycling day.

And so that's a good -- and that's one way that

they're using that fund to sustain their program, their

reuse program or their durable medical and their computer

program. So that's pretty exciting.

So looking at federal regulations. As I said, the

EPA regulates the disposal of toxic substances. So this is

one area in particular that they really regulate.

And some of the examples of things that we need to

consider -- and these are just one example of one area

within the reuse arena for assistive technology -- would be

lead that's used in TVs and CRTs, old monitors. CCTVs have

these. As we said, monitors have these. So paying

attention to that.

And I will tell you in just a moment what "CRT"

actually stands for. But this can have a lot of leakage

issues. But they can also blow up. It could be very


Mercury is used in flat-screen panels. A lot of

times people don't realize that. But all these great flat

screens that we all love and they're so colorful and so

dynamic, you know, I often look at them, and I'm like, Wow,

how are we going to handle that? We sure can't just throw

these into the landfill.

And I've seen where they're out by the side of the

road in some of our rural areas ready for pick-up or what

have you. And I'm just like, Wow, we've got to figure out

some of these issues because we don't want those flat

screens that are so beautiful when they work leaking out

mercury when they don't.

And then cadmium is used in rechargeable batteries

for laptops, which is, once again, another toxic, toxic

substance that you want to be aware of.

So some of the state laws. As we said -- or as I

said -- and Trish has given us great information about

this -- but an increasing number of states have laws

regulating disposal of e-waste.

And it's important for you to go on to the

electronicsrecycling.org, just as I said a few moments ago,

and identify laws in your state. Check the list on the

website for the national center and see where is your state

when it comes to your policies and your state laws.

And in there it's very interesting because they

even have a history of what states have considered what

laws and which ones were voted on and which ones passed and

which ones didn't pass. So you can kind of track the trend

and see what's happening. So I would encourage you to do


Some states are actually doing panels where they're

putting together blue ribbon panels -- and they have a

bunch of different names for these types of panels -- where

they're out there, and they're researching, and they're

exploring, trying to come up with their laws and

regulations around this.

And I had the great privilege of doing testimony at

a hearing for one of the panels in Georgia early on. That

was back in 1998, and it was a great experience because

they actually were heard, and it was nice because the laws

were very friendly towards our reuse program. And it

helped us help other programs get up to speed and be on the

same page.

So I would encourage you to really get involved and

know what your state laws are. And if you can help shape

it, shape it.

Then local ordinances. Breaking this down a little

bit more, there are public and private recyclers. They are

bound by federal regulations and state laws. But local

governments also have ordinances, and they devise different

compliance solutions to fit their circumstances.

I have seen where some counties are like, "Oh, we

do not want any equipment. Do not bring your equipment

here. We don't want it." And then there are other folks

that actually will pay for people to bring their equipment

to them.

So it's important to know what is it that you're

supposed to operate within. And so identify what the local

options are for your public and private.

And then what are the costs? Especially if you're

a small program. And as I said before, maybe doing a

collaboration with your local government so that y'all

could have a drive.

We also recently had a drive at one of our churches

here in Atlanta for paint, computers, cell phones, and

shoes. And it was fascinating because, you know -- and I

talked to them in depth, as you can imagine, those of you

who know me. And my kids were with me.

And so we brought in like 28 cans of paint from our

house, and I was thrilled to be able to get rid of that.

And they actually are taking that paint and reusing it.

It's not just being thrown away. And they've got this

amazing process now of how they do that.

And the tennis shoes are actually becoming --

they're reusing those. Some of them, if they're in good

condition, are going to other countries. And if they are

in bad condition, they are taking the rubber off of the

soles and making playground -- the playground -- the

grounds out of it, which is great.

And then, of course, the computers, which y'all

were talking about today. So it's nice to see these

efforts going on, and it's nice to see reuse programs for

assistive technology teaming up and really collaborating

with these efforts. So pay attention to those, and see how

you can work within that and how you can benefit. It's

very important.

Some of the financial issues. As we said, the cost

that you want to consider when it comes to recycling; some

of the possible expenses that are out there. As we said,

it's the cost of you storing useless devices or parts.

It's important that you educate your volunteers and your

team members and staff about this.

Because I've gotten into hot debates about people

over when do you let some of these things go. When do you

let that hard drive go? When do you let that 386 computer

go? When do you let that $28,000 wheelchair -- power

wheelchair -- when do you let it go? And then possible

fees for disposal.

And then the transportation of waste to the

recycling facility. There are some programs that we're

working with that are small programs, once again, that they

actually worked out a deal with a local recycler where the

local recycler comes and picks up the equipment and takes

it. They actually get the money from the end-of-life

recycling, and the deal is that they're transporting it.

And that's all that the reuse program really cares about.

There's a great program that is in Washington. I

was in Washington doing some technical assistance up there

about reuse and working with those great folks that I

really love to work with up there.

And one of their reuse programs actually has this

model. And it's working very successfully for them, and

that's great. So I encouraged them to find out, well, how

much money is this reuse -- is this recycling person

actually making; seeing if there's something that they want

to consider.

And I would encourage you, if you have that kind of

set-up, to pay attention to the cost of metals because you

don't want to just give everything away. So pay attention

to those things, and make sure that you're indeed not

selling yourself short when it could be a funding stream

down the road.

And there's nothing wrong with that. I actually

struck a deal here in Atlanta when I was in charge of the

ReBoot program in creating that with a group of folks where

we got paid for the end-of-life recycling. We actually had

people come by who would -- they would pay us for it, and

they would take it off. And they were doing most of the

work, which was nice, and we actually got enough money to

cover phone bills and things like that. So that was good.

So it's that whole idea of considering the

potential income and/or savings. So the recovery of those

spare parts. Some people are actually selling some of the

parts on eBay, because it is hard to come by some of these

unique parts for some of our assistive technology. And pay

attention to that.

And then the sale of some metals, as we said, to

recyclers. And you'll hear from our friend up in Alaska in

just a few moments about what they're doing and how they're

doing it in a very thoughtful and fiscally responsible way.

So recycling at the small reuse center. We're

going to give you an example. So take it from the policies

and procedures and issues and considering all of that to an

example right here.

A few years ago, I went out and was working in

California with several folks. And this is one of the

centers that I actually got to work with. They're

wonderful folks. Erik Van Orden oversees the computer

refurbishing project there. It's the Tri-County

Independent Living Center, which is in Eureka, California.

Beautiful place, from what I understand.

And they serve three counties, but these are huge

counties, unlike a lot of the counties that we see in other

parts of the country. These are actually big counties.

And the program refurbishes 20 to 30 computers a year.

And their big issue is that the local waste system

does not accept e-waste. So we had some good conversations

around this. So Liz is going to give you more information

as to what happened.

So, Liz?

LIZ PERSAUD: Thank you, Carolyn.

So Tri-County. Their donation guidelines, because

they don't have an outlet to accept e-waste, they have to

be very firm with their guidelines of what they accept into

the center.

So they accept desktop computers, mice, and

keyboards. And those restrictions are pretty firm when

they are receiving those phone calls or when they're

marketing out to the community as to what they accept.

So nothing older than five years; three to four

years, preferably. They do request that the items that are

being donated to their center are in decent working order.

So they have some usability tied to them.

They should be relatively free of clogged fans or

intake vents and should have all the required components.

So a power supply, mother board, processer, RAM, HD,

optical drives.

They do not accept CRT monitors, which we

mentioned. And CRT stands for cathode ray tube. So no CRT

monitors, and no printers as well.

So over here is their end-of-life evaluation. And

basically, devices that are no longer useful are

cannibalized for spare parts. And those are stored for use

in refurbishing other computers, so being able to use those

parts to put towards other parts of computers that they're

getting ready to get back out in the community that they're


So over on the right-hand side is a picture of

their storage unit for their computers. So it literally is

two brown shelves side by side, two columns of shelves.

And there are three shelves within each of those. And each

of those shelves has two large blue bins side by side.

So each shelf has two large blue bins, and those

are organized with spare parts, and they're labeled. They

have big white stickers that are labeled for each of the

parts as well too. And then they have another shelf that

has some books and some other supplies that they need as

well too.

So it's a very small parts storage, but it's a very

clean, well-organized way that they can go in and grab some

of those cannibalized spare parts to be used for other

refurbished computers.

Disposal of e-waste at Tri-County. So again, as

Carolyn mentioned, the challenge is that they're a rural

area with no local e-waste facility. But they do have a

solution. And what it is is that they collect e-waste, and

they hold onto it for the annual county e-waste collection


So one time a year the county has a free e-waste

collection day. And basically they rent a truck and get in

line with everybody else in the community to dispose of

their e-waste. So it's a great solution for them to be

able to do that, and it's a free way that the county is

offering that collection day. So it's a free way for them.

So Erik said that we could share his information.

So here is his information and if you have any questions in

regards to what they do as far as recycling and e-waste

disposal at the Tri-County Independent Living, you can

contact him directly.

It's Erik Van Orden. He's the assistive technology

advocate. There is his e-mail address. It's

erikvo@tilinet.org. And again, you can grab it off of the

PowerPoint, and we'll have that posted on the Pass It On

Center website. So feel free to get in touch with Erik if

you have any questions specifically about what they're

doing in the Tri-County area.

So with that being said, I'm going to let Mike

Friend from Alaska talk about what they're doing in regards

to recycling at Access Alaska, which is an independent

living center.

So, Mike, you can take it away.

[Sound problems with Mike.]

CAROLYN PHILLIPS: So in the previous slide, there

was an image up here that's -- it's the United States,

which is obviously big. And it's got all the states except

for -- we don't have Hawaii in there.

And then there's Alaska that -- it's an image

that's superimposed over the U.S. And it's a very good

image because it shows that obviously Alaska is the largest

state. I think a lot of people -- like in Georgia, we

think Georgia is the biggest state, but clearly we're

wrong. Alaska is huge.

And so they've got a lot of interesting things that

you want to consider when it comes to serving a state that

large. And Mike educated me in a wonderful way about some

of the challenges that a large state does bring, especially

if you're a small or relatively small reuse program or if

you're a rural program. And you have to think about reuse

in those ways.

So Access Alaska is one of five independent living

centers in the state. As I said, I had the opportunity to

visit and actually spend some time and explore the center

with Mike.

And, Mike, thanks again for being such a wonderful

host and taking so much time with me that day.

And each of the independent living centers is

responsible for serving folks with disabilities and the

elderly, folks who are considered elderly in our society.

And you can see by the size that they have a lot of

territory to cover with many communities that are not even

on a road system. Some of the rural areas can only be

reached by small planes or by boats.

And by the way, a lot of people don't know this. I

didn't know this until I visited there. But Alaska has the

most number of pilots in the whole country. They live in

Alaska. And that's because there's such a big need for

people to be independent in that way.

The other thing, as we see in a lot of rural

communities, is that spirit of independence. And it's

alive and well in Alaska. And you can see it woven

throughout their program and what they've created here and

what Mike and his team have created there.

So Access Alaska, they do have a recycling; a reuse

program; DME, durable medical equipment. They have a loan

closet, is what they call it. So basically it's been

growing over the past few years as more organizations have

experienced downsizing and budget cuts.

So what they were seeing up there in Alaska is what

we're seeing across the country. It's a trend that we're

seeing where folks are no longer able to go to the loan

closets or the community resources that they used to be

able to go to because the funds have literally and

figuratively dried up, and so they were no longer able to

maintain a viable loan closet for the community.

And so what once was loaning out a few pieces of

equipment a month has grown to several hundred pieces of

equipment a month. So this was a very, very small program

that has just grown by leaps and bounds.

So they accept wheelchairs -- both manual and power

wheelchairs, walkers, tub transfer benches, bedside

commodes, shower chairs, hospital beds. And that's just to

name a few of the items that they do accept.

There are two images up here. One is of a power

wheelchair that -- one that obviously that's obviously got

a battery and all of that. And then there's another one

that has some tilting space and all of that capability, and

it's more of a manual type of wheelchair.

So what the Access Alaska program has done with the

end-of-life strategies is they break down unusable devices

to recover usable parts. I actually got to see this in

action, and it was great to see how organized and efficient

and thoughtful their process was.

They use recovered parts for repairs to devices

and/or to devise creative storage solutions. And you'll

see that in just a few moments on one of Mike's next

slides. And both of these save money. So being able to

use the parts for repairs and also creative storage


They also sell scrap metal to recyclers to generate

funds for batteries and supplies. And that's a great way

to make good use of the extra metal that they have. It

comes through their program. And they get a nice stream of

how they can get the equipment in and get it out in an

effective way. So once again, Alaska is doing a great job

of that.

So they do have some creative repurposing. Those

of you who are friends with the Pass It On Center on

Facebook saw some of not these exact pictures but pictures

similar to this because I posted them back in July.

It was the first time I had seen this where they

have actually used crutches or parts of crutches to support

crutches. They have used parts of walkers to support the

walkers. Very creative the way that they've done this.

And it's very pleasing, actually, to the eye, very clean

and easy to get around.

The end knobs are all protected because they've

used those. So literally what they have is a crutch that's

been cut and is sticking out of the wall in a very nice

way, safe way, and it's supporting several crutches. And

then the same thing is done with the walkers. So they're

up off the ground. They're organized. They're organized

by size and make and model. And it's very clean. It looks


And storage really can be a problem, Mike tells us.

So learning to work with your stock becomes very important.

He goes on to say that "We like to make sure that

we have more than enough to serve our customers as well as

the residents in the state." And they're great about

reaching out to other folks in the state.

So working with groups such as the local

municipalities and Homeland Security in the event of a

disaster and having the equipment is paramount. And I'm

glad they've already got their eye on that, and they are

very aware of the importance of being ready for an


And then getting creative. That really makes a

difference here with their storage. I was very impressed

with that.

Mike also went on to tell me about an earthquake.

This was before I was born, but one of the largest

earthquakes that we've seen in our country occurred in the

'60s in Anchorage. And you can still see some of the

damage from that.

And it actually really affected the folks there.

So being prepared for emergencies. And it's so good that

the Access Alaska folks are thinking progressively in this


Oh, Mike? Great. Okay. So you can take it from


Okay. So I'll keep going, Mike, until you're

ready. Just let me know. And please feel free to jump in

at any point.

So there are two pictures up. And one of them is a

big trash can, one that probably -- I'm not really good at

this, but I think it's probably like a 52-gallon trash can.

It's huge. I mean it's really big. One that you would

actually roll out to your curb or what have you.

And it's full of crutches and parts of crutches

that have been cut. And so they're using that for income,

excess crutches. They're sold for aluminum scrap metal.

The proceeds are used to purchase batteries and other

supplies, as Mike told us earlier.

And then there's creative cannibalism for reuse.

And I love the way that that was stated. So walker wheels

are attached to pallets to facilitate movement. There's a

bunch of examples of this and what they've done at the

Access Alaska program.

So when the donation is received, they look at

their needs; they do an assessment. The other thing I

learned about Alaska is actually that they have more hip

and knee replacements in Alaska than most any other state

per capita and also lots of falls because of the ice and

other difficult terrain to navigate.

So crutches are huge and walkers and all that in

Alaska. So once again, that was one of those eye-opening

conversations that we had.

So the donations exceed the needs for their center,

and they do have to be creative in the way that they

recycle. So they send extra items to rural areas for

distribution at the senior center and the tribal health

center or small community health centers.

Sometimes it becomes necessary to clear the

shelves. And so they will cut up the aluminum crutches,

just as I descried earlier, and the walkers and resell it

to the local recycling plants with the proceeds going back

to the loan closet.

Sometimes really and truly being creative -- it

makes all the difference. And as I explained just a few

moments ago, in the lower picture the wooden pallet -- it

could be used to move items out because of the wheels that

they used from unusable walkers. I thought that was

incredibly creative.

So I appreciate you, Mike, sharing that with us.

They have another image here, another picture,

where they have shown their recycled equipment and parts.

They are showing how it's organized. It's very clean.

They've got wheels mounted up on the wall. They've got

things separated. They've got canes. They have different

shelves that they're using to separate equipment out. And

so once again, very nice way that they've been able to do


LIZ PERSAUD: Mike said, "We try not to waste


CAROLYN PHILLIPS: Yep. Yes. And so Mike, yep, he

said sorry that he's having technology problems on this


And, Mike, I'm sorry too. I hope I'm telling the

story the way that you would want. And it's really

fascinating. We're thrilled that you're one of our

partners. And I know you all definitely try not to waste

anything, because it's extremely expensive to ship things

to Alaska, and so they're very mindful of that.

And so then the other thing that I think is very

important to pay attention to here and what, once again,

Access Alaska has done, is they're looking at the bigger

picture. They're looking at and have started calculating

how much they're actually saving the state -- Medicare,

Medicaid, and private insurance -- for their activities

when it comes to reuse.

So they have saved -- I think it was just in one

year -- and, Mike, correct me if I'm wrong -- but in one

year, this last year, saved $300,000, which is huge. And

that's wonderful to be able to quantify that and be able to

tell people your story and also let them know that that's a

huge impact, especially in this economy.

So, Mike, is there anything you would like to add?

LIZ PERSAUD: "And this year we are going even


CAROLYN PHILLIPS: Okay. He said that it looks

like this year you're going to go even higher than that,

which is great.

LIZ PERSAUD: "You are doing a great job."

CAROLYN PHILLIPS: Oh, and, Mike, you said I am

doing a great job. Thank you. I appreciate it. And as I

said, you were just a fabulous host, and I learned a lot

from our time together.

There's a lot to be learned from rural programs and

small reuse programs and the way that they handle the

end-of-life reuse and the way that they operate the


And Mike is just one excellent example of how you

can get creative around the excess that you may have and

how you can actually use that to generate more funds for

your program.

I'm wondering if you all have any questions for me.

And Mike is answering questions in the chat box. And so

does anyone have any questions at this point of anything

that we've covered? And we hope that you have found it


So as y'all are writing your questions, if you want

more information about recycling and e-waste disposal at

Access Alaska, feel free to contact Mike, Mike Friend. And

as we said, he's on with us now. And he's the information

and referral coordinator for Access Alaska, Inc. And you

can e-mail him at mfriend@accessalaska.org. So you can

definitely reach out and get more information.

And, Mike, it looks like you had another comment.

And so what you're saying here is that you really need to

connect with consumers and occupational therapists and

physical therapists in our community to meet the needs.

And you're exactly right.

And one of the things that I definitely like about

what Mike and the folks there and also our friends in

Eureka have done is that they are thoughtful about their

approach; they're thinking about the environment; they know

their state laws; they have thought the process through;

and they've grown their program in a way that makes sense,

including how do you think about the environment and how do

you make sure that you're being thoughtful and staying

within regulations and compliance and paying attention to

all of that.

So, Mike, we appreciate you letting us share your

story. And we appreciate you creating the slides and

taking those photos for us.

So if y'all have questions, let us know.

LIZ PERSAUD: There's a question from before.

CAROLYN PHILLIPS: And Jim Bullard from New Mexico.

Good to see you on here. And your question was -- so your

question is relating to the resale of computer equipment

and if you're able to do that. Are you asking if you're

able to do that? So you asked: Are some of the programs

doing that, reselling computers that you are refurbishing?

And the answer is yes, that a lot of programs are

doing that. You need to be very careful. I know that you

are receiving some Assistive Technology Act funds now. And

so you want to be very clear about how you're doing that.

Because in the law -- in the Assistive Technology

Act law, we're not supposed to be buying equipment for

individuals and what have you. And so you want to pay

attention to some of the -- just making sure that you're

compliant. And it would be pretty clean, but you just want

to make sure that you're compliant in the way that you're

doing that.

And a lot of programs are doing that type of

activity because they're diversifying their programs, their

funding stream, and they're able to bring in money

obviously to help their program be sustainable.

And so we can add that to our list of topics. We

have covered that in some ways in some previous webinars,

but we would be happy to revisit that if that would be

helpful because we are seeing that some programs are really

making a huge impact in this way.

I was visiting a program once again when I was out

in Seattle that is a computer reuse program. And from

resale of equipment alone, they're clearing about $40,000 a

month, which is amazing. So it's a huge program, and

they're making a big impact in their community, and they're

also sustainable, which is great.

And I think you said here that all the proceeds --

LIZ PERSAUD: "Yes, we are meeting our contract and

have excess computers that they would like to sell as

reused." They also get other funding from private sources.

CAROLYN PHILLIPS: So you're meeting all of your

contract deliverables. And so now you're trying to figure

out, well, what do you do with the excess computers. And,

yes, a lot of programs do that.

I would encourage you to get in touch with some of

the programs that are doing that. Interconnection.org is

one that I would encourage you to look at. They're in

Seattle. That's one that I referred to earlier. And we'll

probably have them do a webinar at some point for us. And

then Touch the Future, Inc.

Great. So you got in touch with Touch the Future,

and I hope that was helpful with the ReBoot program. So

that's great.

And the name of the Seattle program is

interconnection.org. And Liz is going to type that in for


Great. Any other questions that you have? And I

hope that was helpful.

LIZ PERSAUD: Someone says "clarification please."

I don't know about what.

CAROLYN PHILLIPS: So the question is: Who is

making $40,000 a month? Interconnection.org,

interconnection.org, when I went out to visit their program

and just observe how they're operating -- I'm one of those

geeks that loves my job so much that, even when I'm on

vacation, I go visit reuse programs and AT programs around

the country.

So I was out there, and I was visiting their

program. And I was very impressed with what they were


And what they were doing is they were reselling

some of the equipment. So they're getting it in, getting

it up to standard, and then reselling the equipment. And

they are generating, from just the resale of the

equipment -- that's not the equipment they're just getting

out the door, what have you, to meet their program needs,

but this is actually selling the equipment -- they are

clearing $40,000 a month.

And so it's a very hot area right now. But I will

tell you that this ebbs and flow. I've been in this field

for a long time. And I've seen where equipment, sometimes

it's very hot, and you can sell it on eBay or you can sell

it out of your center and make pretty good money; but then

a few months later it's not hot.

So it's just a matter of where things are in the

economy and also where things are in the evolution of


So does that answer your question? Great. Okay.

Yes. I'm happy to help.

LIZ PERSAUD: Jim says "A big prediction is a huge

reuse opportunity coming up is when people are expected to

upgrade to Windows 8."

CAROLYN PHILLIPS: Okay. So Jim's making

predictions. And so Jim in New Mexico. I'm glad you're on

with us with your program, Back in Use.

And so one of your big predictions is that a huge

reuse opportunity is going to be coming up when people are

expected to upgrade to Windows 8. Yes. And we do see this

with all the various upgrades that occur and how things

change. So very helpful.

And thank you, Jim, for the prediction. We'll see

how that comes to reality. But I think you're probably


Any other questions that you have for us?

We really do appreciate you all spending time with

us. We hope this was helpful. It was great to have your

participation. And please do keep in touch with us as you

continue to grow your program.

We've been thrilled with the network that's been

developed here and throughout our country. And it's

exciting to see the growth that's occurred and also how we

have this shared learning and this transfer of knowledge.

So thank you, and we appreciate you keeping the

conversation going.

Liz, anything that you would like to add or

anything else that anyone would like to add?

I know Liz is going to talk to us about the

evaluation. We take these evaluations very seriously, so

please do take the time to fill it out. We look at each

and every one of them and really shape our programs and our

technical assistance around that.

So, Liz?

LIZ PERSAUD: Thank you, Carolyn. You did a great


And again, we're sorry, Mike, that the technical

difficulty popped up, but we really appreciate you being on

with us and contributing great information from Access


So, yes, as Carolyn mentioned, please jump onto

SurveyMonkey -- there's the link -- and fill out our brief

evaluation. It takes less than five minutes. It has some

basic questions.

But as Carolyn said, we go back and review those

often, and we look into your suggestions and your comments

and definitely try to work on that for our upcoming


So a special thank you to Caroline Van Howe for

working with us on the technical difficulties and

troubleshooting as we had our first webinar with Pass It On

Center on this new system. And we appreciate all of the

participants, all of y'all, being patient with us as we are

navigating through the system.

Thank you to Kimberly for being on to record the

webinar and to provide transcription for us that all of

y'all will be able to access in a few weeks on the Pass It

On Center website.

And also a special thank you to Trish Redmon, who

is a consultant with the Pass It On Center, who helped us

to pull this PowerPoint and presentation together as she

does great work out in the community interviewing programs

and getting that information to us so we can get that back

out to all of y'all and especially into the knowledge base

as well.

And thank you, Mike, for your contribution and for

taking the time to pull together the PowerPoint for us so

we can share that information with everyone.

So we'll be in here for a few moments. So if

anyone has any questions, feel free to type it into the

chat area, and we can get with you.

Here is Carolyn and my e-mail addresses. It's

carolyn@passitoncenter.org. It's liz@passitoncenter.org.

If you need to get in touch with Trish, it's

trish@passitoncenter.org. So any one of us would be happy

to assist you at any time.

If you need information about credits, shoot me an

e-mail, and I will walk you through the process.

So again, thanks everyone for taking time out of

your busy schedule to be with us today. We look forward to

chatting with you next time. And I'm going to pass it to