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Last modified: Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Indiana University plans free e-waste recycling May 11 and 12

Events will take place at Bloomington and South Bend campuses

April 16, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University will conduct its fourth Electronic Waste Collection Days on May 11 and 12, giving individuals, schools, nonprofit organizations and businesses an opportunity for free and environmentally responsible disposal of obsolete computers and other electronic items.

electronic waste image

Workers secure electronic equipment on a pallet at a previous IU Bloomington E-Waste Collection Days event.

Print-Quality Photo

E-waste collection events are scheduled at IU Bloomington and at IU South Bend. At both campuses, organizations and businesses can drop off items for recycling on Friday, May 11, and individuals can participate on Saturday, May 12.

The City of Bloomington will join the university for the first time to co-sponsor IU Bloomington E-Waste Collection Days, contributing the resources of its sanitation department and housing and neighborhood development department to the initiative.

"We're excited to have the City of Bloomington on board helping provide this important service," said Susan Coleman Morse, sustainability project manager with University Information and Technology Services. "Recycling and reusing computers and electronic equipment not only protects the environment; it also preserves valuable resources and reduces energy consumption. E-waste Collection Days has received positive feedback from the community in the past, and we are happy to be sponsoring this event again this year."

At IU Bloomington, there will also be an opportunity to find new homes for equipment that is still in working condition. Serve IT, an IU-based service organization, will refurbish reusable items for donation or resale to benefit local nonprofit groups.

Serve IT will collect equipment from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the parking lot of IU's Harry Gladstein Fieldhouse. Items will be donated to community organizations or made available for purchase at the August 2012 Hoosier to Hoosier community sale, a fundraiser for United Way of Monroe County and Habitat for Humanity. For more information see

IU Bloomington Electronic Waste Collection Days

  • Sponsored by: City of Bloomington and IU's Office of Sustainability and University Information Technology Services; site host is IU Department of Athletics.
  • Where: Purple parking lot to the north of Memorial Stadium in Bloomington.
  • When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 11 for schools, universities, businesses and nonprofits; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 12 for the general public.

IU South Bend E-Waste Recycling Fest

  • Sponsored by: IU South Bend Center for a Sustainable Future.
  • Where: IUSB parking lot at Vine and 20th streets.
  • When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 11 for businesses and organizations; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 12 for the general public.
  • More information:

For complete information about the events, including lists of items that are acceptable, visit Schools, nonprofits and businesses should register in advance at Indiana University departments and managers of IU-owned equipment must follow university guidelines, available online.

None of the electronics will be processed for resale, and any equipment that could contain sensitive data will be shredded. One hundred percent of the equipment that is dropped off will be recycled and kept out of landfills. Recycling services are provided by Apple Inc.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 2.37 million tons of computers, TVs and other electronic equipment were discarded in the U.S. in 2009. Only about 25 percent of items were recycled.

Some constituents of e-waste, such as lead, nickel, cadmium and mercury, can pose risks to health and the environment if not properly managed. Also, reusing and recycling e-waste reduces impacts and energy demands from mining and manufacturing. For example, recycling 1 million laptops saves the energy used by 3,657 U.S. households a year. Recycling a ton of circuit boards yields up to 800 times as much gold and 30 to 40 times as much copper as mining a ton of raw ore.

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.