What is E-Waste?
E-waste is the recycling of functional or obsolete electronics that would otherwise be disposed of in the regular trash stream. All products are excepted! These electronics include:
- Televisions and other electronic equipment
- Rechargeable batteries
- Compact fluorescent light bulbs
- Lamps (fluorescent, high intensity discharge (HID), neon, vapor, high pressure sodium, and metal halide bulbs)
Electronics use plastic, glass, metals and other rare earth minerals: all of which carry a large carbon footprint in production. Air and water pollution are common, as well as, the use of fossil fuels to produce and manufacture these items. Some items such as metals and rare earth minerals cause leaking of toxic chemicals over time. Cell phones, specifically, have many different types of Mixing e-waste with regular trash means that toxic chemicals can leach into the environment and into our drinking water. By taking electronics out of the generic waste stream, many materials can be reused and recycled without degrading the environment.
These widely generated hazardous wastes are identified as "Universal waste" by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Individually these items pose little threat to the environment or our health. When generated collectively, such as on a college campus, these small amounts can add up and create an environmental hazard. As a result, Ithaca College's management of this waste stream is closely monitored by the EPA and the DEC. Our electronic waste gets taken by Bruin Recycling, based in Syracuse, NY. This company does not send any e-waste overseas to places that have lower regulations and inhumane working conditions.
Where can I recycle?
1. Bring them to the Office Supplies Collection and Reuse Program (OSCAR) for free redistribution to other campus offices in Phillips Hall, Room 196.
2. Bring them to the free Take It Or Leave It (TIOLI) collection room for student use in the basement of Clarke Hall.
1. Drop small items off on campus at:
2. Submit an online maintenance request through SchoolDude or Maintenance Direct. This service is recommended for larger or broken items. The best part is: this service is FREE!
Many manufacturers and retailers offer Reuse and Recyling programs through the EPA’s Plug-In To eCycling Program:
- Best Buy
- LG Electronics
- Office Depot
Check out the EPA's eCycling Program.
The Ecollective: This video shows the basics on e-waste recycling from a safe, United States based program.
This company, ARC Recycling Center, is also a U.S. based program, that does not send their electronics overseas to be processed.
These Greenpeace videos show the negative impacts of improper e-waste recycling: