Businesses can unload 'e-waste' Thursday and Friday near Ann Arbor
Schools, government organizations, non-profits and businesses are invited to unload computers, printers, fax machines, pagers and other unneeded electronic items free of charge Thursday and Friday.
Apple Inc. will be collecting the waste and shredding the items so the raw materials can be re-used to manufacture other items.
E-waste will be accepted from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday and Friday during an annual recycling drive at the Washtenaw Intermediate School District’s facilities at 1819 South Wagner Road in Ann Arbor.
Because of the high volume of waste from institutions, pre-registration is recommended.
The annual event, hosted by the University of Michigan and Ann Arbor Public Schools, proceeds the residential electronic recycling day on Saturday.
Businesses tend to “stockpile” their old computers and other electronic waste, said Andy Berki, manager of the Office of Campus Sustainability, and so separate collection dates are needed for institutions and residents.
Computer hard drives, processing units and cell phones all go through a mechanical shredder - meaning that personal data stored on the devices will be completely destroyed, Berki said.
The U.S Environmental Protection Agency estimates e-waste is growing at two to three times the rate of any other source of waste.
Hazardous chemicals inside many electronics make them dangerous for disposal in landfills.
The National Safety Council projects that nearly 250 million computers will become obsolete in the next five years, and researchers have estimated that nearly 75 percent of electronic waste is in storage.
The front panel of cathode ray tube TVs contain up to three to five pounds of lead, according to Sheila Davis, executive director of the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition.
The coalition advocates nationally and internationally for responsible recycling of electronic waste.
Davis claims that because the exportation of electronic waste is not regulated by a government agency, it can be shipped to foreign countries for processing where impoverished families are often exposed to hazardous chemicals when they disassemble the components for profit.
All of the waste collected by Apple Inc. from the Ann Arbor event will be processed in the U.S., Berki said.
Acceptable items at the drive include CRT monitors, LCD displays, computer processing units, laptops, servers, wires and cables, keyboards, computer mice, speakers, hard drives, TVs, microwaves, camcorders, DVD players, VCRs, cameras, radios, stereos, video games, cell phones, and pagers.
Office equipment accepted include fax machines, photocopiers, printers, scanners, surge protectors, telephones, typewriters and adding machines.
Items not accepted include smoke detectors, refrigerators, stoves, ovens, light bulbs, batteries, Styrofoam, hair dryers or TVs with broken screens.
Amy Biolchini covers Washtenaw County, health and environmental issues for Ann Arbor.com. Reach her at (734) 623-2558, email@example.com, or on Twitter.