Free campus-wide recycling collection May 14-18

April 3, 2012

Do you have an old TV sitting in your basement, a box of old cell phones, or some broken computer speakers? You know you want to get rid of them, but aren't sure where or how. Now you can! Bring these and many other items to our free recycling event on Friday, May 18 in the Kimbark Gravel Lot (located between 60th and 61st on Kimbark Ave.) between 8am – 1pm.

This is the Office of Sustainability's third annual e-waste recycling event. Last year, hundreds of people from the University and community participated, recycling well over 43,000 lbs of electronic and scientific equipment. University affiliates and community members are encouraged to download and post the event flyer to help spread the word.

If you're unable to make the event on the 18th, we are also offering several convenient drop-off locations between Monday, May 14 and Thursday, May 17. Items will be accepted at these locations until Thursday, May 17 at building closing. Look for large (4' x 4') boxes at each of these locations, May 14–17:

The security of these drop-off locations cannot be ensured. If concerned about data security, please bring your e-waste to our daylong event on May 18. On Friday, May 18, e-waste will only be accepted at the main event in the Kimbark Gravel Lot.

Because there are few options for recycling e-waste on the South Side, the Office of Sustainability—in partnership with IT Services, the Office of Civic Engagement, and Facilities Services—is offering this recycling event to the University and South Side communities as an opportunity to responsibly dispose of difficult-to-recycle items. While the event focuses on e-waste, other items will be accepted, such as scientific equipment and items with significant metal components. Please consult the list below for an overview of all accepted items.

Please note: if your e-waste is University property and has a hard drive (e.g. computers, printers with hard drives), please bring it to the main event on Friday, May 18. These items should not be deposited at a drop-off location.

What is e-waste?

Electronic waste, or e-waste, is anything you want to get rid of that has a plug, a battery, or was once electric equipment or a component of electric equipment (like fans, calculators, disk drives, computers, keyboards, space heaters, etc).

E-waste has significant consequences for the environment once it gets into landfill. Electronic equipment often includes contaminants such as lead, cadmium, beryllium, mercury, and brominated flame retardants. All of these contaminants can leach into the water supply once disposed of in landfill, causing significant health impacts.

In 2007, the U.S. generated 3 million tons of e-waste. You can help by bringing your outdated, broken, or unused electronics to our event on May 18th. For more information on e-waste, read this article or visit the Electronics Take Back Coalition.

How will these items be recycled?

Our partner, ACME e-rase and e-cycle, disassembles and recycles every component of every item that enters their facility, located just a few miles away in Bridgeport. Office of Sustainability staff has visited this facility and is working closely with them so you can be confident that these items are being recycled responsibly. All electronics will be recycled and data destroyed in accordance with Department of Defense standards.

What items will be accepted?

All types of e-waste will be accepted for recycling, in addition to scientific equipment and items with significant metal components. Additional items will be accepted on Friday only, see below.

Items accepted all week long:

  • Air conditioners
  • Batteries 
  • Boom box 
  • Bridge 
  • Calculators
  • Cameras
  • CD players
  • CD and tape walkmans
  • Cell phones, PDA devices
  • Computer speakers
  • Copy machines
  • Cords and cables
  • CPU 
  • CRT 
  • Desktop copy machines
  • Desktop plotter 
  • DVD players
  • Electronic media (CDs, DVDs, video tapes, etc.)
  • Fax machines
  • Household electronics (hair dryers, irons, etc.)
  • Ink/toner cartridges 
  • Keyboards
  • Kitchen appliances (toasters, blenders, etc.)
  • Laptops
  • Mainframe cabinets 
  • Metal 
  • Microwaves
  • Mice 
  • Modems
  • Monitors
  • MP3 players (iPods, etc.)
  • Printers
  • Power tools
  • Radios
  • Refrigerators
  • Remote controls
  • Routers
  • Scanners
  • Space heaters
  • Speakers 
  • Stand alone plotter 
  • Stereo equipment
  • Telephones
  • Televisions
  • Terminals
  • Typewriters
  • UPS
  • Vacuums
  • VCRs
  • Video game systems

Additional recyclable materials include:

  • Scientific equipment (e.g. microscopes, oscilloscopes) 
  • Electronic (non-hazardous) medical equipment (e.g. lab equipment, ultrasounds, blood pressure equipment)
  • Anything that has a significant metal component (e.g. aluminum shelves, furniture with metal frame, filing cabinets)

Items also accepted but only at the Friday event:

  • Light bulbs (compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), fluorescent tubes of all lengths, incandescent, etc.)

Still have questions? Contact Colleen Lanier Christensen.