As you prepare for some annual spring cleaning or end-of-the-school-year purge, make sure you know what can be thrown away and what can be recycled. Recycling is not just for paper and pop cans; technology can be recycled too. By recycling your electronic waste (e-waste) you can clean out your clutter and help keep the environment clean.
The Earth Day Network reports that there is roughly 50 million tons of electronic waste created in the United States each year, and that only about 25 percent of that waste is recycled properly. When electronic devices are not properly disposed of, the hazardous chemicals in these devices can seep into the soil and air and hurt the environment.
What Iowa State is doing
Iowa State prides itself on being green, maintaining many initiatives and programs to enhance sustainability, including recycling electronic waste, or e-waste. E-waste is recycled by Iowa State’s Central Stores, which works with Midwest Electronic Recovery, A-TEC Recycling, and Reldan Metals to responsibly recycle e-waste. An average of 80,000 pounds of e-waste from Iowa State is recycled each year. E-waste with potentially sensitive data is shredded as a matter of security, while other electronic items, that are not waste and can be used again, are sold during ISU Surplus’ (formerly Asset Recovery) weekly sales.
What you can do
There are many options when it comes to recycling your e-waste, including local and state-wide programs as well as select retailers and manufactures. Listed below are e-waste recycling/disposing locations around Ames and Central Iowa.
- Iowa State Central Stores and ISU Surplus provides a responsible and secure option for disposing outdated university-owned technology
- Iowa State University offers a variety of recycling programs for ISU departments
- The city of Ames provides a list of local disposal options for computers and televisions
- Midwest Electronic Recovery the largest computer recycling facility in Iowa, offers computer recycling, hard drive shredding, CRT monitor recycling and more
- Goodwill Industries of Central Iowa offers computer recycling through the Dell Reconnect program
- Metro Waste Authority provides a list of disposal and recycling options for E-Waste in the Des Moines and surrounding areas
By recycling your old electronics, you can do your part to protect the earth, while enjoying your new devices. Learn more about Iowa State’s sustainability efforts through the Live Green initiative or see how ISU IT is helping Iowa State Live Green.