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The wild wild waste: e-waste
Thursday, March 6, 2008
E-Waste is a popular, informal name for discarded electronic products such as computers, VCRs, cameras, which have reached the end of their "useful life". Discarded electronic products contain a stew of toxic metals and chemicals such as lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium, and PCBs. Unfortunately, e-Waste, a dangerous byproduct of technology's relentless expansion is one of the fastest growing segments of higher education institutions' waste stream. We need to be strong advocates of "producer responsibility" and give companies an incentive to produce environmentally friendly products. In addition we must learn about and educate our campus communities about managing old electronics and associated materials. In this report, we attempt to answer the question "What should be done with old electronic products?" discuss opportunities for waste prevention and reuse, and talk about regulatory issues.