Outlook: Ohio University News & Information

E-waste collection bins placed on campus

Mar 31, 2010
By Krista Bradley and Monica Chapman

 Not sure what to do with your old cell phone? What about that mix CD your ex gave you or that broken printer hiding under your bed?

To accommodate these types of items, Campus Recycling & Refuse recently set up four collection bins around the Athens campus for electronic waste. E-waste collection bins are located at the HDL Center, Baker Center Tech Depot, Shively Dining Hall and Alden Library.
According to Green Peace, about 20-50 million tons of e-waste is generated per year. This can be attributed to the need to stay current with changing technology, as well as the increasing affordability of many electronics.

"Much of the e-waste has hazardous materials in them that are regulated and need to be recovered for recycling and reuse, rather than landfilled (where it would) become an environmental liability," said Recycling and Refuse Manager Ed Newman.
Electronic waste being collected at the sites includes:
?    PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants)
?    Digital cameras
?    Cell phones and pagers
?    Printers and toner cartridges
?    Two-way radios
?    Computers and monitors
?    Batteries
?    CDs

It's hard to miss the green and white e-waste collection bins, which are adorned with the Bobcat logo. The bins are fabricated from used filing cabinets ? making the bins a recycling project in itself. Newman, along with the facilities department, fashioned holes in the cabinet drawers to accept e-waste donations.

"The drawers can be locked in public places, such as the dining halls, the library and the Tech Center," said Lori Gromen, a graduate assistant in the Office Sustainability. "To collect, the recycling department goes around to each and opens the drawers to retrieve the e-waste."
Much of the university's e-waste will be collected by USA Lamp & Ballast Recycling Inc., who currently contracts with Ohio University to properly dispense with e-waste and other "universal waste," a federal designation given to items that contain trace amounts of toxic heavy metals such as mercury, lead and alkaline. If released into the environment, these metals can contaminate the food chain, threatening the health of humans and animals.

Specific products will also be recovered through The Wireless Alliance, RecycleFirst, Xerox and Battery Solutions, according to Newman.

"We've been doing business with all of these companies for a while, but we are trying to span out to more people ? especially students ? to make these services available," said Newman.


Published: Mar 31, 2010 4:45 PM


Four e-waste collection bins have been placed throughout Ohio University's Athens campus.

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