University staff and faculty, along with the help of the local community, contributed to the collection of 220 tons of electronic waste during the fifth annual e-waste recycling event earlier this month.
An estimated 3,268 vehicles passed through the drop-off locations during the three-day event, May 5-7. The community’s combined efforts resulted in the filling of 18 semitrailers with recyclable electronic waste that was kept out of local landfills.
The general public, the largest contributor of recyclables, was responsible for filling 14 of the semitrailers, while nonprofits and organizations filled the remaining four.
“This event has become a welcomed service and well attended event by the community,” says Barbara Hagan, sustainability administrator the Office of Campus Sustainability. “Each year, thousands of people help make an impact locally by attending the event and disposing of their electronics in an environmentally responsible manner.”
Hosted by the Office of Campus Sustainability and the Ann Arbor Public Schools, the event is designed to help area residents, small businesses and non-profits dispose of electronics in an earth-friendly way. All equipment is destroyed and recycled in an environmentally sound manner by a fully permitted recycling facility.
E-waste is the fastest-growing type of waste in the country and frequently contains hazardous materials like lead and mercury, which can adversely affect the environment. Everything from laptop and desktop computers to televisions and telephones are collected at the event. Following the event, equipment is properly disassembled, shredded and recycled into raw materials to be reused to manufacture new items.
Since 2008, the event has filled a combined total of 89 semi-trailers, and diverted a total of 1,168 tons of electronic waste from local landfills.