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  Edition # 103  
San Francisco, 09-21-2013

Figure [1]: The "Weirdstuff" warehouse in Sunnyvale sells used computer parts.

Michael Until a few years ago, Americans didn't care much about saving the environment or recycling, but nowadays it's extremly hip to be "green". In previous editions of this newsletter, we've explained how to correctly dispose of old TV sets (Rundbrief 12/2010) or to separate garbage into the different bins provided in San Francisco (Rundbrief 02/2006).

Figure [2]: The "Weirdstuff" warehouse is located in Sunnyvale, just around the corner from Yahoo headquarters.

If you want to get rid of old computer parts in Silicon Valley, there's a nondescript store called Weirdstuff at address 384 West Caribbean Drive in Sunnyvale in a warehouse neighborhood, just around the corner from Yahoo headquarters. At the back entrance, there's a drop-off where workers collect donated components, and the store in front has usable parts nicely sorted on long shelves for sale for little money.

Figure [3]: Cheap computer components for sale on the shelves.

Figure [4]: Six Dollars buy more stuff at Weirdstuff than 20 Dollars at a regular store.

It's no secret that I like to to tinker with all kinds of components and assemble them to create new inventions. If I bought the parts at a regular computer store, it'd cost me an arm and a leg. Often times, used parts are perfect for the job, and I can get them cheaply at Weirdstuff during my lunch break. And the staff is easy-going there, I've had items with no price tag on them at the register, and the cashier just asked "Two bucks okay?" to which I replied "Sure!", handing over two dollars plus tax ($2.18). Good deal, for a new part I would have had to pay $10 easily.

Figure [5]: At the back door, there's a drop-off for old electronics, which Weirdstuff either passes on to a recycling facility or sells at the store front.

Damaged goods donated in the back Weirdstuff apparently passes on to a Recycling Center, where old monitors are taken apart and old circuit boards are being chopped up for proper disposal. Functioning components, on the other hand, are offered for sale in the front store. The Weirdstuff guys apparently are operating cost-effectively, their business seems to be going well and whenever I'm there, there's always some customers rummaging through the bargain bins. A win-win situtation for everyone!

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