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On Recycling E-Waste

By Sustainability Office on November 14, 2019

Take a second to think about the number of electronic devices you use on a daily basis. Electronic devices go beyond your smartphone or computer– these devices include nearly anything that has batteries or is plugged into an outlet. As we become increasingly dependent upon these devices and the electronic devices reach the end of their life span, “E-Waste” can pile up. These items cannot nor should not simply be thrown in the garbage, as electronics can contain toxic elements that can pollute the air, water, and soil. Some of these elements are considered valuable and can be reused in other electronic devices and should be recycled. By recycling these materials, you are preventing further mining of raw materials. Recycling of eligible e-waste is required by the NYS Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act.

Recycling your e-waste is an easy and effective way to mitigate continued environmental damage, but it can be confusing as to what is recyclable and where to take e-waste. At Colgate, we are fortunate to offer convenient satellite drop-off locations across campus for you to dispose of your e-waste. If possible, please drop off your items at the main collection center in the McGregory sub-basement. If your items are large or you need assistance in delivering them, please place a work order with Buildings and Grounds. We only ask that you take a look at the qualifying items below and do not bring in your e-waste from home. For more information on your home-generated e-waste, please visit this site to learn where you can take your e-waste. 

Here is a list of items which can be recycled:

Accepted Items:

Business Machines

Cell Phones



Electronics Scrap

Fax Machines



Medical Electronics


Networking Gear


Scientific Equipment


Telecom Equipment




Wiring & Cabling

Not Accepted:


Hazardous Waste


PCB Ballasts

Small Appliances (toasters, etc.)

Smoke or CO Detectors

Wet Cell Batteries

White Goods (refrigerators, etc.)

*Printer toner can be sent back to the manufacturer or given to your Staples representative.

To recycle Colgate-owned electronic devices, such as a computer, monitor, printer, or television: 

 If the item could be reused or salvaged, contact Salvage/Purchasing (x7838). For computers and printers, call ITS (x7111). 

To report a full e-waste bin in your department, please fill out this google form. 

After you drop off your small electronic waste, we deliver it to EWASTE+ in Rochester, NY. EWASTE+ is R2/Rios and NAID AAA certified, which means that your e-waste is handled responsibly. This also ensures that all data is wiped and circuit boards are destroyed through a metal shredder. Therefore, your data and privacy is not compromised. Please note that our e-waste bins are for small electronic waste only. All large (the size of a microwave or larger) electronic waste will require a work order.

As technology advances and the consumer demand for electronics increases, we have to remain diligent in our choices that have major environmental and social consequences. Recycling e-waste is an easy way to minimize human impact and ensure sustainability into the future. If you have any further questions regarding e-waste, please contact the Office of Sustainability at sustainability@colgate.edu

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