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Where can you recycle your electronic waste?

By Sustainability Office on January 3, 2014

If you are like most people, then you may have old electronic devices piling up at home or in your office.  Electronic devices include just about anything that plugs in or takes batteries.  You know you shouldn’t put these items in the trash since they contain toxins such as lead, mercury and cadmium that can contaminate our air, water and soil.  Many electronic devices also contain precious metals and other valuable materials that can be reclaimed and recycled (instead of mining and manufacturing new raw materials).  All electronic devices need to be properly recycled, but how and where?

Fortunately, we have a few convenient options for you.  Here we will answer a few frequently asked questions:

How do I recycle Colgate-owned electronic devices such as my computer, monitor, printer, television, or other large devices that need to be replaced?
Call ITS (x7111).  ITS will determine if your equipment needs to be replaced.  If so, they will collect your equipment and either refurbish and reuse it or properly recycle it.  

How do I recycle spent printer and toner cartridges?
Give them to the W.B. Mason representative when they make your next delivery or send them back to the manufacturer.  As a last resort, you can also send them to the Sustainability Office (Lathrop 109M).

How do I recycle small electronic devices such as old cell phones, batteries, iPods, cables and cords, calculators, cameras and other small devices?
Whether Colgate-owned or personally-owned, place these small items in one of Colgate’s electronic waste recycling containers scattered throughout campus.  Click here to find the station closest to you.  For safety reasons, please place Scotch tape over both ends of batteries before you place them in a battery recycling container.

How do I recycle personally-owned electronic devices and appliances such as home television sets, computers (and all accessories), toasters, microwaves, coffee makers, game consoles, hair dryers, cables and cords, VHS players and tapes, CD or DVD players and discs?
You can recycle all personal electronic devices at Colgate’s Salvage and Surplus Warehouse at 2486 Route 12B (south side of Birnie Bus warehouse across the road from Valero gas station). Bring your electronic devices to the warehouse during store hours:

  • Thursdays and Fridays, 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. and 1:00–4:00 p.m.
  • Saturdays, 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.

What happens to your electronic waste after you drop it off?
All of our electronic waste on campus or at the warehouse goes to Regional Computer Recycling & Recovery Center (RCR&R) in Rochester, NY.  RCR&R is R2/Rios certified which gives us confidence that our electronic waste is being handled responsibly.  RCR&R also wipes all data and destroys all circuit boards by feeding them through a metal shredder that completely renders the circuit board useless.

Have additional questions?
Watch our two-minute video for more answers or contact John Pumilio, director of sustainability (jpumilio@colgate.edu; x6487).

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