Electronics: The Next Frontier in Sustainability

Read the full story from EPA.

In 2012, the Sustainable Materials Management Electronics Challenge was launched under the National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship (NSES). The Challenge encourages electronics manufacturers, brand owners and retailers to strive to send 100 percent of the used electronics they collect from the public, businesses and within their own organizations to third-party certified electronics refurbishers and recyclers.

EPA recycles 120 laptops with donation to Newport News schools

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced the donation of 120 laptop computers to the Newport News School District as part of an ongoing effort to keep harmful electronics away from landfills and put them to productive use in schools.

“Donating or recycling consumer electronics like laptop computers conserves our natural resources and avoids air and water pollution, as well as greenhouse gas emissions that are caused by manufacturing raw materials,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “This donation is especially rewarding because the laptops will be put to valuable use by the Newport News School District.”

The computers are being donated under the U.S. General Services Administration’s Computers for Learning Program that encourages government agencies to transfer excess computers and related peripheral equipment to schools and educational nonprofit organizations.

Electronic products are made from valuable resources and materials, including metals, plastics, and glass, all of which require energy to mine and manufacture.  Improper disposal of used electronics may have potentially harmful effects on human health and the environment. Recycling or reusing electronics helps divert waste from landfills.

For more information on electronics donation and recycling, go to: https://www.epa.gov/recycle/electronics-donation-and-recycling#why

For more information on GSA’s Computers for Learning program, visit: https://computersforlearning.gov/

How Smart Design Can Solve the E-Waste Challenge

Read the full story in Triple Pundit.

Global concern about the mountains of e-waste generated every year has been rising for quite some time – and with good reason: In 2014, the United Nations estimated that humans produced 41.8 million metric tons of electronic waste. That’s 92 billion pounds – and even though IT products made up just 7 percent of that waste, that still represents almost 6.5 billion pounds of waste our industry generated in a single year.

There are no easy solutions to the many enmeshed challenges of e-waste, but by designing for reuse, repair, refurbishing and recycling, we can make real progress.

Silicon Valley’s sustainability problem

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

The tech sector has stepped up its fight against climate change since COP21 last year. From the Bill Gates-led Breakthrough Energy Coalition pledging more than $1 billion towards the transition to clean energy, to Google purchasing nearly 2.5 gigawatts of renewable energy, tech companies have made bold commitments.

As innovation leaders, however, much of Silicon Valley still lags on championing comprehensive sustainability strategies. A new report by the Centre for Sustainability and Excellence (CSE) sheds light on the big issue at play: Most large companies are compliant but aren’t driving a thorough, transparent approach to sustainability.

New Call2Recycle Study Highlights the Importance of Accessibility in Driving Recycling Behavior

Read the full story from Environmental Leader.

Ask consumers why they don’t recycle and the number one complaint is simple: It’s inconvenient. You have to collect it. You have to store it. If it isn’t paper, glass, aluminum or recycled curbside, you have to haul it somewhere. For recyclables that aren’t part of a curbside recycling program, action requires a commitment of time and effort.

But change may be on the way. In a recent online Nielsen survey of 6,000 North American consumers, the respondents who didn’t recycle regularly indicated that they would if it was more convenient. The survey, commissioned by Call2Recycle® North America’s first and largest consumer battery stewardship program, also confirmed progress in the adoption of battery recycling, with more than half of respondents professing awareness of battery programs. Making battery recycling convenient for people throughout North America has been a primary focus for Call2Recycle for the past two decades.

Illini Gadget Garage hours and upcoming events

Received via e-mail from my colleague Joy Scrogum:

I wanted to make you aware of the fact that the collaborative repair center for personally owned electronic devices, the Illini Gadget Garage, is officially open to the public this semester. Renovations to make the space ADA compliant were completed at the beginning of the semester, and the students have been hard at work making the interior more welcoming. Open hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 AM to 1 PM and Wednesdays from noon to 3 PM. We’re located at 1833 S. Oak St. in Champaign, just north of Hazelwood Drive. See http://tinyurl.com/guv4n9z for a map. For general information on the project, including volunteer, sponsorship, and educational opportunities, please see our flyer at http://www.sustainelectronics.illinois.edu/IGGflyer.pdf.

We were pleased to have the opportunity to spread the word about the project at the recent Campus Sustainability Day Celebration, and also have a couple of upcoming events this month. Next Saturday, November 12 from 11 AM to 2 PM, we’ll have our ‘grand opening’ and you are invited to stop by and learn more about the project, services and volunteer opportunities. We have 10 slots available for one-on-one troubleshooting and repair during the event, so registration is required. Please fill out the information on the online sign-up form to the best of your ability so the repair crew may be better prepared to assist you. If your response to this form is received and slots for this pop-up clinic are full, the Gadget Garage team will contact you regarding a time you might come into the shop on campus at a later date. Similarly, if the assigned time they provide doesn’t work with your schedule, they’ll provide options for you to visit the campus space or another pop-up instead. Click here for the Facebook event. See http://www.sustainelectronics.illinois.edu/grandopening.pdf for the event flyer.

We’ll also be part of Urbana’s America Recycles Day event at the Anita Purves Nature Center on Saturday, November 19, from 11 AM to 3 PM. See https://www.facebook.com/events/1812556538979989/ for this event on Facebook, and http://wp.istc.illinois.edu/blog/2016/11/04/illini-gadget-garage-at-america-recycles-day-event-nov-19/ for more information, including the link to the online sign-up form for one-on-one troubleshooting at that event.

We hope you’ll be able to join us at regular open hours or one of these events. If your department or organization would like to host a pop-up clinic in your building, please fill out our online form to indicate your interest and we’ll be in touch to schedule your session.