SRU schedules April 28 community e-waste recycling event

Electronics being recylced

Slippery Rock University will collect old televisions, cell phones, computers and other electronics during its April 28 Community Electronic Waste Collection Day program. Items can be dropped off from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Recycling Center at the Stores II facility on Kiester Road.

April 13, 2018

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - The holidays have long since come and gone. And, while you proudly gaze at your new 60-inch flat screen that hangs on the family room wall, you might be wondering what you should do with the old TV set that's eating up real estate in the garage, somewhere between the lawnmower and that 10-speed bike you never ride.

No worries, friend. An easy disposal option is just days away courtesy of Slippery Rock University's April 28 Community Electronic Waste Collection Day. The recycling program, aimed at keeping electronics out of landfills, is part of the University's Earth Days 2018 program

"This event gives residents a legal option to get rid of items no longer accepted in their household trash or landfills," said Joel Brown, assistant director for environmental health and safety. "It also helps us move forward with our goal of reducing the carbon footprint of our university and surrounding communities."

Scanlon headshot

   SCANLON

The list of acceptable electronic waste includes: computer monitors, computer CPUs/towers, laptop computers, server units (no racks), keyboards/mouse devices, desktop printers, fax machines, phones (cell or cordless), electric cords, scanners, audio receivers, VCR/CD/DVD players, answering machines, electronic games, microwave ovens, electric space heaters, modems, routers, radios, televisions, remote controls, fans, audio speakers and toasters.

Only items from residential homes will be accepted.

No commercial items or hazardous chemicals will be accepted. Other unacceptable items include: paints/stains, pesticides, herbicides, cleaners, oil, gasoline, refrigerants, large copy machines, air conditioning units, appliances (refrigerators, stoves, washers, dryers, dehumidifiers), light fixtures and fluorescent light bulbs, batteries, tires, lawn equipment and snow removal equipment.

Items can be dropped off from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. that day at SRU's Recycling Center at the Stores II facility on Kiester Road. Dumpsters will be located in the parking lot. To protect personal information, organizers caution that personal data should be cleared from all phones and computer hard drives.

Participation is limited to residents of Allegheny, Armstrong, Butler, Beaver, Clarion, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango and Westmoreland Counties. Proof of residency, such as a driver's license, is required for all drop offs.

Brown said the electronic waste would be picked up and processed by Maven Technologies of Rochester, New York. Last year, the program netted 41 tons of electronics.

In the tech industry, hoarding or disposing of used electronic waste is known as e-waste. According to DoSomething.org, roughly 20-50 million metric tons of e-waste is disposed of worldwide each year. A large portion of that is actually not waste at all, but rather whole electronic equipment or parts that are readily marketable for reuse or can be recycled for materials recovery.

"Americans throw out mobile phones that contain in whole, more than $60 million of gold and silver, each year," said Paul Scanlon, director of sustainability. "As of 2010, the EPA estimated that nearly 350,000 mobile phones were being thrown away every day. I can only imagine what that number has grown to by now.

"Electronics have to be recycled to avoid environmental damage and save resources, especially since many electronic devices have a very short useful life. Cell phones are getting swapped out every two years, if not yearly, and laptops tend to be used for only five years or so before they become obsolete and are replaced."

One of the world's largest producers of electronics, Apple, reported that in 2016, it had recovered nearly 90 million pounds of materials from its own devices through a recycling program one year earlier. Sixty-one million pounds of those materials are reusable in future products, including 2,204 pounds of gold, which Business Insider calculated to be worth nearly $40 million at the time.

SRU efforts to dispose of waste responsibly have been extended to other materials as well. Scanlon said that in 2017, the University recycled 65 tons of electronic waste, 26 tons of paper, 76 tons of cardboard and 60 tons of scrap metal.

SRU's strategic plan commits the University to using sustainable processes and procedures.

There is no charge for SRU's e-waste recycling program. For more information, contact Brown at 724.738.2466 or joel.brown@sru.edu or Scanlon at 724.738.4268 or paul.scanlon@sru.edu.

MEDIA CONTACT: Robb King | 724.738.2199 | robb.king@sru.edu