E-waste is a way of life today, but keeping a closet full of it doesn’t have to be.
Texas State is putting on an electronic recycling event in the Bobcat Stadium parking lot on April 25 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The community is invited to participate in the drop-off, which is supported by multiple university departments, private industry and the city of San Marcos. The pilot event will result in the collection of e-waste items such as TVs, DVD and CD players, hand held games, cameras, computers, electrical cords and a multitude of other electronic devices.
“It’s astounding how much e-waste people have in storage,” said Lisa Arceneaux, environmental health and safety specialist at Texas State. “Finding a safe way to dispose of these items where they won’t harm the surrounding environment is a real challenge for homeowners and city governments.”
A recent study by the EPA concluded that electronic waste is the fastest growing element in municipal solid waste. The EPA also estimates that up to three-quarters of all computers sold in the U.S. remain stored in people’s garages, closets and basements as people either don’t know what to do with them after they become obsolete, or they are apprehensive to get rid of items they once viewed as investments. The materials in electronic components including plastics, glass and precious metals are also among the most recyclable.
School officials say they would attempt to have the event annually if it succeeds later this month. Many cities, including San Marcos, hold household hazardous waste disposal days where people can dispose of paint or chemicals in a legal manner.
Continuous, annual e-waste recycle events, Arceneaux said, will offer opportunities for a new recycling industry to thrive in the United States.
“There have been so many departments from throughout the campus and business community who have volunteered to be a part of this effort,” Arceneaux said. “It’s really made it a rewarding project to work on.”
The university is encouraging students, faculty and citizens throughout San Marcos to bring electronic items they are no longer using or no longer work to dispose of and recycle. Officials ask that people not bring any Texas State equipment, as there are existing protocol and contracts for its responsible disposal. Items such as stoves, refrigerators, microwaves or batteries will not be accepted.
Although steps to ensure security of identities and information will be put into action, the university’s Office of Information Technology on campus recommends removing personal information from electronic devices before recycling. For more information about identity security and recycling, visit http://security.vpit.txstate.edu/awareness/ecycling_idtheft.html.
For more information about this event, what items to bring or not to bring, or security, contact the Office of Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management at (512) 245-3616 or visit here.