Program takes eWaste off universities’ hands, replaces it with cash

The United States produces about 2 million tons of eWaste – obsolete electronics and accessories like empty inker cartridges — each year.

In 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency estimated that the United States produced 2.37 million tons of eWaste – obsolete electronics and accessories like old computers, dead phones, and empty inker cartridges.

Only a quarter of those materials were recycled, meaning more than 1.7 million pounds of eWaste that could have been reused or broken down into parts was just disposed of or incinerated.

College campuses, with their abundance of printers, computers, and tech savvy students, can be one of the main sources of this waste. Now FundingFactory, a recycling program for schools and nonprofits, has created a new initiative targeting universities’ eWaste recycling habits.

“Colleges are like small cities,” said Conor MacDowell, a channel development manager at FundingFactory. “When you have that much printing going around campus, a lot of that waste can be recycled.”

The program, which is called COLLECTED, officially launched on August 15, though FundingFactory has already been behind university recycling initiatives on several campuses. More than 400 colleges have signed up for COLLECTED, and 320 schools are already actively recycling with the program.

See Page 2 for how much eWaste one university recycled over the last decade.

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