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Last modified: Thursday, April 21, 2011

Indiana University to host free e-waste recycling events

Events to be held in the Bloomington, South Bend, and Indianapolis communities

April 21, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University will host its third annual Electronic Waste Collection Days, providing free e-waste recycling for schools, businesses, nonprofit organizations and the general public. The events will take place at various times and locations, and will provide free recycling collection services for items such as computer systems and accessories, phones and handheld devices, audio and video equipment, and office electronics.

electronic waste image

Workers pack items for recycling at the 2010 Electronic Waste Collection Days at IU Bloomington.

Print-Quality Photo

"Millions of pounds of electronic waste from Indiana residents and businesses ends up in landfills every year," said event organizer Gerrell Williams, sustainable computing graduate student at Indiana University Bloomington. "Unfortunately, most people don't know where to drop off used electronics or how to determine what's recyclable. But I think if you give the public an opportunity to do the right thing, they will."

All event locations are sponsored by Indiana University, with recycling services provided by Apple:

IU Bloomington Electronic Waste Collection Days

(Hosted by IU Athletics, in the Purple parking lot to the north of Memorial Stadium in Bloomington)

  • May 12-13, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.: Schools, universities, businesses, and nonprofits
  • May 14, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.: General public

IUPUI Electronic Waste Collection Days

(Hosted by the Glendale Town Center, a Kite Realty Property, in the parking lot off 62nd and Rural Streets in Indianapolis, at the Glendale Town Center)

  • May 12-13, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.: Schools, universities, businesses, and nonprofits
  • May 14, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.: General public

IU South Bend E-Waste Recycling Fest

(Hosted by the IU South Bend Center for a Sustainable Future, in the campus parking lot at Vine Street and South 20th Street in South Bend)

  • May 13, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.: Businesses and organizations
  • May 14, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.: General public

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

For university-owned equipment, please follow the guidelines at

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. One hundred percent of the equipment dropped off will be recycled and kept out of landfills.

The first IU Electronic Waste Collection Days program, planned and carried out by interns with the IU Office of Sustainability, took place in April 2009 and collected more than 832,000 pounds of e-waste in Bloomington and Indianapolis. Last year, Electronic Waste Collection Days at IU Bloomington yielded approximately 350,000 pounds of e-waste, and the IU South Bend Tough Stuff Recycling Fest collected 250,000 pounds of waste consumer electronics items.

IUPUI has held a Tox-Away Day e-waste collection event every spring for members of the campus community. "The ongoing success of that event indicates that the greater Indianapolis community is hungry for more e-waste recycling opportunities," said Williams.

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 handled, e-waste can cause harm to the environment beyond the negative impact of adding clutter to landfills.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency Office of Solid Waste, in 2007 only 18 percent of electronic products at the end of their lifecycle were recycled. Of electronics products sold between 1980 and 2007, approximately 235 million units had accumulated in storage as of 2007.