E-Waste Recycling

April 2015

The FS Office of Sustainability and IT Services have collaborated to bring on-demand E-waste recycling services to campus as part of the University of Chicago’s concentrated efforts to reduce its environmental footprint.

Campus community members can pitch cell phones, televisions, digital cameras and other items in special bins located at the east entrance of the Regenstein Library and the west lobby of the Gordon Center for Integrative Science seven days a week during business hours. Items can also be taken to the IT Services office at 6019 S. Kimbark Ave. from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Working computers will be refurbished and donated to local charities and schools.

This new approach to E-waste collection not only provides on-demand E-waste recycling service to the campus community, it also streamlines operations and creates efficiencies within both FS and ITS. Previously, each department had operated separate E-waste collection programs.

The University has a goal to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 20 percent by the year 2025. Waste reduction plays a role in achieving this goal. The University is committed to approaching E-waste as creatively as possible to avoid generating more waste than absolutely necessary. Currently the University recycles 37 percent of its total waste output.

Improper disposal of electronic equipment has the potential to leach heavy metals into the groundwater system, erode the soil, and cause major problems for local ecology. It is imperative that these devices be managed at the end of their useful lives to prevent environmental harm and protect the health of the communities in which the devices are disposed and the workers processing the equipment. Material such as steel, aluminum, plastic, copper and precious metals can be separated and returned to the marketplace, giving them new life in new products.

Please refer to the Office of Sustainability’s website for more details.