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Last modified: Wednesday, April 8, 2009

IU Bloomington and IUPUI to host free electronic waste recycling days

April 8, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Electronic Waste Collection Days, a free electronic waste recycling drive hosted by Indiana University Bloomington and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, will take place in both Bloomington and Indianapolis on April 30 through May 2.

The program will be open to all public and private schools, universities, businesses, and non-profit organizations on Thursday, April 30, and Friday, May 1, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The program will be open to the general public on Saturday, May 2, also from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

E-Waste Trucks

Workers load electronic waste for shipping at an E-waste Collection Day similar to those that IU will sponsor in Bloomington and Indianapolis.

In Bloomington, the collection event will take place in the parking lot to the north of Memorial Stadium. The drop-off location for Indianapolis will be the parking lot directly south of the Indiana State Fairgrounds at the corner of 38th Street and Coliseum Avenue. The event locations are sponsored by IU Athletics and the Indiana State Fairgrounds, respectively.

Complete information, including maps, hours and a list of accepted items, is available at Due to the volume of drop-offs expected, businesses and other organizations are asked to register in advance at

IU Bloomington and IUPUI departments must follow special drop-off instructions provided at

Toxic materials are extremely common in e-waste. Lead, for example, can be found in cathode ray tubes in many televisions and computer monitors. If improperly disposed of, e-waste can cause harm to the environment beyond the negative impact of adding clutter to landfills.

"Millions of pounds of electronic waste from Indiana residents and businesses end up in landfills every year," said Kristin Hanks, sustainable computing graduate assistant at IU Bloomington. "Unfortunately, most people don't know where to drop off used electronics or even what's recyclable. But I think if you give the public an opportunity to do the right thing, they will."

"With the digital television conversion approaching, we knew that this would be the perfect time for a well-orchestrated e-waste collection event," added Laura Knudsen, graduate student at the IU School for Public and Environmental Affairs and member of the IU Campus Task Force on Sustainability. "There's never been a program quite like this in Bloomington."

The event is not without precedent in Indianapolis: IUPUI holds a Tox Away Day e-waste collection event every spring for members of the campus community to dispose of toxic waste including electronics.

"The ongoing success of that event indicates that the greater Indianapolis community is hungry for more e-recycling opportunities," said Knudsen.

None of the electronics will be processed for resale. Anything that could potentially contain sensitive data, such as cell phones or computers, will be shredded. We strongly recommend that you back-up and over-write your data prior to dropping it off at the event. One hundred percent of the equipment dropped off will be recycled and kept out of landfills. Recycling services are provided by Apple.

According to a recent report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Solid Waste, in 2007 only 18 percent of electronic products that had reached the end of their lifecycle were recycled. In addition, the EPA estimates that about 235 million electronic products sit unused in homes nationwide.

Other universities have conducted similar events across the country. The University of Hawaii collected 1.7 million pounds of e-waste in 2008 and the University of Michigan collected 145 tons of e-waste in 2007.

Items that are acceptable for collection include:

Computer systems and accessories

  • CRT monitors
  • LCD displays
  • CPUs
  • All-in-ones
  • Laptops
  • Servers
  • Switches
  • Hubs
  • UPS Systems
  • Keyboards & Mice
  • Speakers
  • Hard drives
  • Optical drives
  • Wires and cables

Handhelds devices

  • Cell phones
  • Pagers
  • PDAs
  • Two-way radios

Audio & video equipment

  • Televisions
  • DVDs
  • VCRs
  • Stereos
  • Radios
  • Camcorders
  • Cameras
  • Games systems

Office Equipment

  • Fax machines
  • Photo copiers
  • Printers
  • Scanners
  • Surge protectors
  • Telephones
  • Typewriters
  • Adding machines
  • Microwaves

Items NOT allowed include:

  • Hazardous materials of any type
  • Batteries not integral to computer systems
  • Contaminated equipment of any type
  • Cracked or broken CRT screens
  • Light bulbs
  • Smoke detectors
  • Household appliances
  • Hairdryers
  • Styrofoam
  • Cardboard
  • Paper