Categorized | Environment

Every ounce counts toward UH recycling goal


The University of Hawaii is aiming to reach a goal of helping Hawaii responsibly recycle and dispose of five million pounds of ewaste through the statewide Education & Government eWaste Disposal Days program.

Public and private schools, city, county, state or federal/military branches, non-profits, small businesses (of less than 100 employees), and residents are encouraged to participate by dropping off unwanted ewaste that will be accepted free of charge Oct. 25-27 at seven sites on four islands.

This is the fourth installment of the UH biennial recycling program, which began in 2006 under sponsorship of Apple. Amounts collected to date have been 1.2 million pounds of ewaste in the initial year, 1.75 million in 2008 and 1.3 million in 2010. If 750,000 pounds of electronics are collected this year, the five million cumulative pounds goal will be achieved.

Every ounce counts toward the goal.

According to the United Nations Environment Programme, “The United States is the world leader in producing electronic waste, tossing away about three million tons each year.”

According to current statistic from the Consumer Electronics Association, Americans now own approximately 24 electronic products per household, with businesses utilizing an even higher rate of machines.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that when electronics reach their end of use most are discarded into landfills, where some of their components may cause serious public health or environmental contamination problems.

Up to 60 different elements can be found in complex electronics, much of it caustic and hazardous to living beings and the environment.

Participating in UH’s recycling effort will help eliminate some of the negative impact that improper ewaste disposal has on Hawaii and the world.

All ewaste collected will be shipped to certified recycling centers in North America where the equipment will be processed in an environmentally safe manner.

Thursday, Oct. 25, and Friday, Oct. 26, are designated as equipment drop off days for the following groups who are required to preregister through the program’s webpage,, and indicate the amount of equipment that they wish to recycle:

* All public or private schools or universities
* All city, county, state or federal/military branches
* Small to medium sized businesses (of less than 100 employees)
* Non-profit organizations

No preregistration is required for Hawaii residents who wish to recycle their unwanted personal electronics free of charge at any of the sites Saturday, Oct. 27.

Drop off sites will be located on Oahu at the John A. Burns School of Medicine, Windward Community College and Leeward Community College; at UH Hilo on the Big Island; at UH Maui College on Maui; and at Kauai Community College on Kauai.

The state Department of Education will host a drop off site at Kealakehe High School in Kailua-Kona.

All seven sites will be open 9 a.m.-3 p.m. daily. However, only three sites will be open on Oct. 25 so check the program’s webpage at for a complete schedule, maps to drop off locations, and a list of the equipment that will be accepted.

“The University of Hawaii System and our campuses work hard to ensure responsible disposal of our own ewaste. Working with our partners, this program gives us a great opportunity to share a responsible no-cost disposal opportunity with Hawaii residents, schools, small businesses, non-profits and government agencies,” said David Lassner, UH vice president for information technology and chief information officer.

United States government researchers estimate that consumers have, on average, two to three obsolete computers in their garages, closets or storage spaces. UH’s Education & Government eWaste Disposal Days program is a great opportunity to recycle that equipment safely and responsibly.

Further details concerning the Education & Government eWaste Disposal Days 2012 program is available at:

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