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Last modified: Monday, March 22, 2010

IU Bloomington to host free Electronic Waste Collection Days

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 22, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Electronic Waste Collection Days, a free electronic waste recycling drive hosted by Indiana University Bloomington, will take place in Bloomington on April 8-10, 2010.

The program will be open to all public and private schools, universities, businesses, and non-profit organizations on Thursday, April 8, and Friday, April 9, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will be open to the general public on Saturday, April 10, also from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

E waste collection photo

Photo by Heather Brogden

IU collected 832,000 pounds of e-waste in the 2009 event.

Print-Quality Photo

In Bloomington, the collection event will take place in the Purple parking lot to the north of Memorial Stadium. The event location is sponsored by IU Athletics. Staff will be on hand to unload your e-waste from your vehicle.

Complete information, including maps, hours, and a list of accepted items, is available at ewaste.indiana.edu. Due to the volume of drop-offs expected, businesses and other organizations are asked to register in advance at indiana.poweron.com/p/register.

IU Bloomington departments must follow special drop-off instructions provided at ewaste.indiana.edu.

Also on April 10, the Center for a Sustainable Future at IU South Bend will accept electronic waste and other hard-to-recycle materials at its Tough Stuff Recycling Fest 2010. More information about the South Bend event is at http://www.iusb.edu/~csfuture/Fest.

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.

None of the electronics received at E-Waste Collection Days will be processed for resale. Anything that could potentially contain sensitive data, such as cell phones or computers, will be shredded. One hundred percent of the equipment dropped off will be recycled and kept out of landfills. Recycling services are provided by Apple.

Photo by Heather Brogden

Print-Quality Photo

"As technology permeates more areas of our lives, it is critical that we understand the impact it has on the environment and handle these materials properly," said Indiana University Sustainable Computing Graduate Assistant Susan Coleman Morse. "Computers have numerous components that are toxic and must be handled with extreme care including phosphor dust and lead.

"The burning of plastic releases dioxins and other poisonous gases," she said. "Our 2009 survey of participants indicates that the top drivers for participating in Electronic Waste Collection Days were a desire to help the environment as well as the fact that there was no charge to recycle at this event."

"With the digital television conversion and a new e-waste law in Indiana, we decided that it would be a good idea to repeat Electronic Waste Collection Days this year," added Laura Knudsen, grad student at the Indiana University School for Public and Environmental Affairs and member of the IU Office of Sustainability Internship Program.

"We had a highly successful e-waste collection event in 2009 whereby 832,000 pounds of e-waste was collected. To obtain more waste this year, we are encouraging IU Bloomington departments and other IU campuses to get in touch with us at any time to coordinate personalized e-waste pick-ups prior to the event. From internal discussions, it appears that departments still house a substantial amount of used electronic products."

According to a recent report by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 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.