"E-Waste", "electronic waste", and "e-scrap" are terms used to describe used electronics that are nearing the end of their useful life, and are disposed, donated, or given to a recycler. E-Waste includes unwanted computers, monitors, televisions, audio equipment, printers, laptops, fax machines, telephones, and other electronic equipment.
When electronic equipment breaks or becomes obsolete, it must be properly disposed or recycled. This electronic equipment may contain heavy metals and other materials that can be hazardous to human health and the environment, including:
- Lead: Computer monitors and televisions contain a cathode ray tube (CRT). CRTs contain leaded glass and are the largest source of lead, a poisonous metal, in municipal waste.
- Mercury: Some electronic equipment contains recoverable quantities of mercury, another poisonous metal.
- Cadmium: Rechargeable nickel-cadmium (NiCd) batteries are the largest source of cadmium in municipal waste.
- Lithium batteries are found in cell phones, motherboards, laptop computers, tablets and iPods.
To ensure that unwanted electronic equipment from the University of Pittsburgh is managed in accordance with EPA requirements, no electronic equipment should be placed in the trash, even if it is broken.
Request a pickup online via www.bc.pitt.edu/1click/ or request a pickup by calling surplus property at 412-624-6500.
-- Surplus Equipment Recycling and Disposal Policy (#10-06-04)
-- EH&S Electronic Waste Poster (PDF)