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Electronic Spring Cleaning At IU E-waste Collection Days

Electronics only last so long before they short circuit or a new gadget captures our fancy. IU and Apple are teaming up to collect and recycle the electronics we no longer use before they end up in a landfill.

Most of us can't make it through a day without our electronic gadgets, but when they have outlived their usefulness, not everyone knows what to do with them. That's where IU and Apple Incorporated are stepping in. For the second year in a row, they are sponsoring the Electronic Waste Collection Days event. Susan Coleman Morse is the graduate assistant for sustainability coordination for University Information Technology Services. She says not properly recycling your used electronics is dangerous for the environment.

"A typical 24-inch computer monitor has about eight pounds of lead, so obviously it's an environmental concern if that would be disposed of in a land fill where that could leach into the water system, that could significant effects on the environment and people and animals," Coleman Morse says.

She also says all the e-waste collected at IU's drive will be broken down into pieces. The glass, metal and plastic will be recycled, but components which store sensitive data, such as hard drives, will be shredded in order to prevent identity fraud.

The 2010 Electronic Waste Collection Days allowed seventeen IU-Bloomington departments to clean out their electronic closets. Local businesses and organizations, such as Bloomington Hospital, also used Thursday and Friday to bring truckloads of old equipment to the site. The public dropped off used computers, televisions, cell phones, microwaves, and more at the Purple Lot of Memorial Stadium on Saturday. Last year Hoosiers dropped off more than 340,000 pounds of e-waste at this event, but Coleman expects even more this year.

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