Do you have old, written-off computers, monitors and batteries lying around or clogging up cupboards? And you are concerned enough not to simply consign them to the dump?
Now there is a responsible campus solution. The IT Division has implemented a temporary e-waste depot on campus where e-waste will be aggregated for free pickup and disposal by contractors who specialise in the refurbishment, reuse and safe disposal of e-waste.
The procedure is as follows:
- Ensure that the items have been properly written off and dealt with in line with the University’s policy regarding the handling of redundant assets.
- Send an email to email@example.com or call the IT Service Desk on 021-8084367 to request removal of the items.
- IT will pick up the items free of charge and arrange for their safe disposal with the contractors, who also provide their services for free and do not pay for the items.
What is e-Waste?
Electronic waste (e-waste) or Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) are the terms used to describe old, end-of-life or discarded appliances using electricity. It includes computers, consumer electronics, etc. which have been disposed of by their original users. It can also include batteries.
E-waste is of concern largely due to the toxicity of some of the substances such as lead, mercury, cadmium and a number of other substances which are harmful to human health and ecosystems if not disposed of properly. The unsustainably rapid turnover of discarded electronics and computer technology is another reason for the need to recycle – or even better, re-use – e-waste.
More information: www.ewasa.org
What will happen to the e-Waste?
The contractors will separate the waste into items that
- can be refurbished,
- can be recycled and
- must be safely disposed of.
Refurbishment of appliances and computers provides jobs and these items are then reused in needy schools and communities. Useful, scarce and valuable metals and other substances are extracted by recycling, while toxic e-waste is disposed of in special hazardous waste facilities. Examples of potentially toxic items include the old type of computer screens (CRT) and fluorescent tubes.
Some fast facts
Currently the University purchases on average 500 new computers per annum (without significant growth in inventory), implying that the annual e-waste stream is of a similar magnitude. At any one time 8000 PCs exist on campus, with up to 5000 more in student residences. If one considers that PCs are usually replaced on a 4 to 5-year cycle, the resulting e-waste stream could in fact be far larger.
The IT Division’s TAS division alone disposes of 300-400 lead acid batteries per annum.