What is electronic waste? How do you dispose of electronic waste? How can we be good stewards of our environment? These are just some of the questions that the EHS&RM staff field routinely.
Electronics are often at the top of lists these days, as they generally make our lives a little easier and more efficient. You probably know someone who received a new computer or TV, a cell phone, DVD, CD, MP3 player or IPOD or some other gadget that requires batteries (preferably rechargeable ones) this past year. As you may be aware, some of these items consist of a considerable amount of heavy metals and toxic materials; such as, lead and mercury that if disposed of improperly can leach into ground water and soil or contribute to air pollution if incinerated at a municipal incinerator.
This is why the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the GA Dept of Natural Resources Sustainability Division-P2AD have developed Regulations and Protocols to prevent the improper disposal of these materials; specifically, rechargeable batteries, cathode ray tubes (CRTs which are in monitors & pre-flat screen TVs) and mercury containing devices (compact fluorescent light bulbs, thermometers, etc). Other items such as DVDs, CDs and MP3 players are of increasing concern due to the fact that they are part of the quickest growing waste category across the country.
Please reference the following protocols if your department or lab has e-waste for surplus. Contact Information Technology Services dept at: firstname.lastname@example.org for IT related equipment only. Contact EHS&RM for all other university related e-waste at: email@example.com for assistance or guidance. There are hundreds of sites on the Web that facilitate materials exchanges, auctions, and swaps that may be useful as well for e-waste at home. For more information on recycling and materials exchanges, visit P2AD's Recycling Links page at: http://p2ad.org/documents/ma_recycling.html .
Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact Vanessa Keel, Chemical Safety Manager at: 678-797-2415, or firstname.lastname@example.org .
We are all stewards of our environmental resources. Let’s continue to fulfill these roles responsibly.
See you around campus!
Gerald C. Donaldson, REM