Erlenmeyer FlaskChemical Safety

Cathode Ray Tubes (CRTs) and Electronic Wastes Program

(computers, TVs, and other equipment with monitors or circuit boards)

Disposal Instructions (University computers and electronics)
Disposal Instructions (personal computers and electronics)

Introduction:

The growing use and replacement of electronic products has created a new environmental challenge for campus: electronics waste. The most common electronic wastes are cathode ray tubes (CRTs) and circuit boards. CRTs are vacuum tubes that constitute the video display components of computer monitors, TVs, oscilloscopes, and other medical and automotive displays. Significant quantities of lead are used to make color cathode ray tubes, with the average TV/monitor containing four pounds of lead (depending on the size and make). The large quantity of lead causes the disposal of CRTs to be regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The other electronic waste that is of concern is circuit boards. Most circuit boards will contain lead and sometimes chromium, which, like the CRTs, causes their disposal to be regulated by the EPA. Circuit boards can be found in a wide variety of equipment, particularly computer CPUs, keyboards, and other digital devices.

Disposal Options:

Recycling is the only feasible option for the disposal of CRTs and circuit boards. Due to the increasing volume of electronics waste being produced, the industry of recycling CRTs and circuit boards is also increasing, providing more recycling opportunities than in the past.

It is important to note that under no circumstances can a University or personal computer be disposed in the regular trash on campus. It is illegal to dispose any computer in the University municipal trash, and doing so could cause the University to get a notice of violation and possibly a fine from the EPA. In addition to EPA concerns, most electronic equipment on campus is the property of the State of Illinois and cannot be placed in the trash.

Disposal Instructions (For University computers and electronics only):

The University has a contract with Twin City Recycling, which provides FREE pickup of University owned electronics waste. However, you must follow these instructions to take advantage of this program:  (If you have a personal computer to dispose, see the instructions that follow this section.)

  1. Submit a “Request to Dispose of Equipment as Surplus or Scrap” form online at: http://www.obfs.uillinois.edu/cms/one.aspx?portalId=909965&pageId=913252.

After the items are inspected, you will be instructed to send the item to surplus, or you will receive a Scrap Pick Up Order form, which will allow you to have Twin City Recycling pick up scrap electronics.

  1. Once you have gotten your scrap pick up order form, contact Twin City Recycling to arrange a pickup of your item. If you do not contact Twin City, they will not know you need something picked up. Twin City Recycling's phone number is: (217) 328-2100
  2. Have the item ready in the location agreed to by Twin City on the day scheduled for pickup.
  3. Verify that the items are removed from your departmental UFAS-PAS inventory.

Other than the “Request to Dispose of Equipment as Surplus or Scrap” form, the scrap pick up order forms, and reconciling the disposal to your inventory records, there are no other record-keeping requirements for electronic wastes disposed using Twin City Recycling.

Disposal Instructions (For personal computers and electronics):

Call a computer recycler for cost and information on where to drop off your computer. (Typically a $6 fee is charged.)

  1. Mack’s Twin City Recycling (217) 328-2100

Questions regarding this program should be directed to the Chemical Safety Section of DRS via e-mail or (217) 333-2755.

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