Thursday, December 20, 2012

Cell Phone and Electronic Waste Recycling

According to the EPA, Americans purchase over 100 million cell phones every year. Most are either tossed in the trash – where they eventually leach chlorinated solvents and heavy metals into soil or groundwater – or are stockpiled in drawers.  The EPA estimates that only 10 percent of old cell phones are actually recycled.  In fact, if you are like most Americans, you probably have a cell phone (or two) collecting dust in a drawer someplace.  Not sure what to do with that old cell phone?  Bring it to the Coop and place it in our new electronic waste recycling station adjacent to the C-Store. 

 Thanks to a fall 2009 independent study project by Megan Cronin '10 and Steffan Pierre '10 and the craftsmanship of B&G carpenter Kirk Breitenstein, the Colgate community now has a safe and environmentally responsible place to dispose of obsolete cell phones.  Cell phones deposited in the recycling station will be routinely picked up by the Sustainability Office and mailed free of charge to Call2Recycle.   Once your old cell phone arrives in Ellwood City, PA the data on your phone is wiped clean and the phone is either refurbished and put back into circulation or taken apart and completely recycled.  Either way, none of the material broken down from the recycling of cell phones makes its way into a landfill.

Of course, cell phones are not the only small electronic devices that need to be disposed of responsibly.  Batteries, compact discs, digital cameras, iPods, cables and cords, inkjet cartridges, calculators, and other small electronic devices can all be recycled safely and conveniently in the electronic recycling station in the Coop.  Larger electronic devices such as Colgate owned television sets, computers, and printers are recycled through Craig Blanchard in Salvage (; x 7475). 

Recycling electronic devices saves energy, finite precious resources, and reduces toxins in our environment. Please do your part to reduce your ecological footprint by taking your small electronic devices to the recycling station in the Coop!

Additional questions can be sent directly to Sustainability Coordinator, John Pumilio (; x6487). 

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