Electronic waste (E-waste): what is it and how do we get rid of it?
This term applies to consumer and business electronic equipment that is near or at the end of its useful life. There is no clear definition for electronic waste (e-waste) at this time, but if you can plug it in to an electrical outlet or it contains circuit boards or chips, it is most likely e-waste. These products can contain heavy metals like cadmium, lead, copper, and chromium that can contaminate the environment. DO NOT dispose of these items in the trash or your recycling bins.
Examples of electronic waste include, but are not limited to:
- TVs, computer monitors, printers, scanners, keyboards, mice, cables, circuit boards, lamps, clocks, flashlight, calculators, phones, answering machines, digital/video cameras, radios, VCRs, DVD players, MP3 and CD players
- Kitchen equipment (toasters, coffee makers, microwave ovens)
- Laboratory equipment** (hot plates, microscopes, calorimeters)
- Broken computer monitors, television tubes (CRTs)
**Any laboratory equipment that has the possibility of being contaminated with chemical, biological, or radioactive substances must be cleared through EH&S and Departmental Facilities Office before disposal.
**For PBSci laboratory equipment disposal procedure click here.
Student E-waste Recycling Options
If you live on-campus you can dispose of your electronic waste easily and conveniently by creating a Fix It Ticket or contacting your college maintenance office.
If you live off-campus, learn more about the Santa Cruz County electronic waste disposal program:
- SantaCruzCountyRecycles.org (be sure to click Household Hazardous Waste in the right column and check under Universal Waste)
Additional information on disposal / recycling of e-waste and other regulated items can be found in all college mailrooms, Graduate Student Housing Mailroom and the Village Laundry Community room. Multibins are blue cabinets built to collect batteries, small electronics, printer cartridges, and CDs. They are located in every college mailroom.