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Projects Updates for Address Electronic Waste (e-waste)

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  1. Design for America - E-Waste Project Update

    Present: Staff - Stacy Gloss & Meredith Moore and Students - Koshal Raghavarapu, Anisha Narain, Ananya Barman, & Pooja Tetali

    The DFA student team provided a progress update on research about cell-phone e-waste. The student team has met with several recycling experts in the community and has focused on three areas - personal responsibility, importance of being able to repair products, and manufacturing responsibility for electronic waste. We will have one more planning meeting together and then the students will give their final presentation about the project on April 27. A poster with infographics may be developed.

  2. E-Waste Handling on Campus

    Associated Project(s): 

    Below is a response to the UIUC Science Policy RSO's request for more information on how UIUC manages e-waste.

    Hello Grant. Your email inquiry was forwarded to me, since I was involved in ISTC’s past projects related to sustainable electronics and electronic waste, as part of my role working on zero waste issues in the ISTC Technical Assistance Program. From my experience on those projects, I understand that unwanted or non-functioning electronics enter in the University’s surplus property system (commonly referred to as “Surplus,” and part of the overall university property accounting system), so they may be redistributed on campus (if they’re still functional). Note that any functioning computer is required to be “scrubbed” of data before transfer for possible redistribution. Anything not redistributed within the University goes to the State of Illinois’s Central Management Services (CMS) department, where the items might be redistributed to other state agencies or to the public via an auction system called iBid. There used to be a program in place called “Computers for Schools” through which functioning electronics were available to schools at no or minimal cost for reuse within IL schools, but to my knowledge, that program ended several years ago and I’m not sure if it has ever been  revived.


    At any rate, after items have gone through this process for potential redistribution, the State of IL contracts with an electronics recycler to responsibly manage the non-functional and remaining functional devices.


    I checked the iCAP portal, and it seems as if this all is still the general procedure, though some of the information on that iCAP page is old and potentially out of date (e.g. the reference to the “Computers for Schools” program—see I also checked the UI Office of Business and Financial Services (OBFS) website regarding disposal of unneeded equipment to see if my understanding of electronics disposal procedures are still current—see and, which instruct staff how to dispose of unwanted equipment. See for an overview of how items might be transferred from one University unit to another through the property accounting system; a more direct explanation of the “Surplus” warehouse is available at  


    At the time the ISTC electronics-related projects I worked on were active, the electronics recycler that the State of IL worked with was Secure Processors in Flora, IL. Checking the IL CMS website, it looks as if that is still true, but additionally New Star also recycles some of the UI system electronics—see Secure Processors used to be R2 certified, though it doesn’t look as if they currently are—see for more information on the R2 standard and for the ability to search for certified electronics processors in IL and other regions. It’s possible that the CMS page referenced above, which I just found through a Google search, is out of date. There are contacts listed on that page who should be able to tell you if the information there is still accurate. You can also check out the Secure Processors website at and the New Star website at to learn more about their processes/practices. New Star appears to incorporate vocational training as part of their electronics recycling operation.


    I have copied some individuals who are directly involved in campus sustainability and waste management, who might clarify whether the procedure I’ve outlined is still accurate, and can provide accurate information about related campus efforts to divert or reduce electronic waste and other forms of waste. Morgan White is Associate Director for Facilities & Services (F&S), Sustainability, and can provide insight into all campus initiatives and policies that pertain to sustainability.  Meredith Moore is the Sustainability Programs Manager for the Institute of Sustainability, Energy and Environment (iSEE) and along with Morgan, can provide information about the Illinois Climate Action Plan, campus sustainability month activities, and the various campus Sustainability Working Advisory Teams (SWAT;, including the Zero Waste SWAT. Sydney Trimble is a student member of that Zero Waste SWATeam, and she also works as a waste and recycling intern for F&S. See for more information on waste and recycling on campus; for future reference, you can direct questions on campus waste management issues to


    I’m a bit out of the loop in terms of current researchers on campus who work on ewaste issues, since the ISTC Technical Assistance Program is not focused on sustainability for the UI campus, but instead assists clients through the state of IL and beyond. Meredith Moore can probably assist you in identifying campus researchers, or get you in touch with other contacts on campus who could assist you in this regard. I can tell you that my ISTC colleague, Jennifer Martin, works on issues related to reuse and recycling of renewable energy technology—see her contact info at if you’re interested in learning more about that.


    I hope this helps! Best wishes,



    Assistant Scientist, Sustainability
    LEED Green Associate

    Sustainability Excellence Professional (SEP; formerly ISSP-CSP)
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Prairie Research Institute

    Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC)

    217.333.8948 | jscrogum at | www.

  3. ISTC Policies for the Sustainable Purchase, Use, and End-of-Life Management of IT Equipment

    The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) has listed its policies for sustainably purchasing, using, and managing IT equipment at the end of its life.  These policies, which include ideas adapted from both campus and beyond, are in the attached file.

  4. ISTC policies for IT

    At ISTC computers are required to be at least EPEAT Bronze rated.

    There is mention of EPEAT Bronze in the legislation at the State level—see Note that the phrasing in this is a little odd because some of the products mentioned (e.g. mice, VCRs, etc. ) aren’t part of the EPEAT registry. But since a wide variety of people (i.e. people who are not campus procurement personnel) may purchase equipment, office supplies, etc., and not be aware of what EPEAT is, let alone that the state has expectations related to it, it’s perfectly possible that there are researchers or IT professionals who are buying items for University use with little thought about EPEAT.

    Procurement would have to confirm whether or not non-EPEAT related computers, laptops or tablets were available from vendors in UI punchouts in iBuy.

  5. CRTs and microwaves

    Associated Project(s): 

    The old CRT TV’s and CRT monitors are routinely sent to the Surplus warehouses for disposal.  The University utilizes the State of Illinois contracted e-waste recyclers and items are sent directly vs. sent to Springfield.  FYI – starting October 1, 2016, the State and their e-waste recyclers started charging the University for the e-waste of CRT TV’s and CRT monitors.   But, based on a review of alternative paths for these e-waste items, the State e-waste recyclers continue to be the most cost-effective means of disposal of these items at this time.  UIUC can and should continue to let units know those CRT’s should be sent to surplus for processing using the standard equipment disposal request process through FABweb. 

    Because there is no longer a market for the leaded CRT glass, it’s very difficult for collectors and recyclers to sell all of the components of CRTs at this point, so fewer and fewer companies are willing to take them. See the Champaign County Electronics Recycling Guide at Goodwill accepts CRTs from residents, but there’s no reason to take them there when they can be processed through the electronics recycling system the university has in place; that way they can also be easily/efficiently counted as part of the total amount of electronics that the university is recycling.

    Fully functional microwaves will be sent to Surplus as well, while the broken microwaves will be sent to Twin-City Recycling after the Surplus Coordinator issues a scrap ticket to the unit, after the unit has submitted a disposal request through Fabweb.

  6. State Electronics Challenge (SEC)

    Associated Project(s): 

    Colleagues, I wanted to remind you of the upcoming webinar, Tuesday, November 18 from 2-3 pm providing an overview of the State Electronics Challenge (SEC). Register at See the forwarded invitation below for further details.

    I’ve mentioned this free, voluntary program for public entities and non-profits at previous UI Sustainable Electronics Campus Consortium meetings, and the benefits of participation. If you’d like to learn more, I encourage you to attend the webinar, and in the meantime, visit ISTC is a SEC partner, as is Engineering IT Shared Services. Currently there are only seven organizations within IL taking advantage of this program. I’d love to see that number grow!

    The webinar will be archived and available for later viewing at if you are unable to attend.

    Best wishes,


    Joy Scrogum

    Emerging Technologies Resource Specialist

    Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC;

    Coordinator, Sustainable Electronics Initiative (SEI;

    Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable (GLRPPR;

    ISTC is a Division of the Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    217-333-8948; 1 Hazelwood Drive, Champaign, IL 61820; MC-676

  7. E-waste Collection Day!

    University Housing and Facilities & Services are collaborating to facilitate an e-waste collection day as part of Recyclemania, a national competition to change behavior and reduce waste.  The event is tentatively scheduled for March 18th.  All electronics will be accepted free of charge.  Locations and hours of operation will be announced in the next couple weeks.  To volunteer please email Bart Bartels at


  8. sustainable electronics consortium

    Associated Project(s): 

    Hello sustainable electronics enthusiasts! Thanks to those of you who came to ISTC yesterday for the preliminary group meeting. It’s both inspiring and somewhat daunting to consider the breadth of activities across campus that relate to sustainable electronics in some way, and the number of paths we could pursue to bring about positive change within our University. I’m confident that if we focus our attentions, as discussed yesterday, on topics that smaller groups can meet about and pursue, while also coming together as a larger group periodically to share ideas and insights, we’ll accomplish wonderful things and strengthen the ever growing “culture of sustainability” on campus.


    ISTC, through its Sustainable Electronics Initiative (SEI), will continue to coordinate meeting arrangements and information sharing among the smaller subgroups (research, education, and operations for now, though those names and themes are subject to change).  I’ve set up a page on the SEI web site for this campus consortium—see Through this page we can share meeting minutes, scheduling details, and relevant documents for the subgroups and broader consortium, in one place.


    Some of the attendees at yesterday’s meeting expressed interest in having a list of contact information for those who came or had planned to come. I can compile a list of attendee names, email addresses, departments/affiliations, and phone numbers to distribute. If you would prefer not to share your contact info, let me know by October 9.


    I’ll be in touch with a few of you directly in the near future to discuss possible presentations for small group meetings. Everyone should watch their email inboxes for notes and Doodles related to subgroup meetings around the topics of research, education, and operations/policy. When meeting dates and times are established, I’ll post those to the web page and send everyone an email notice. We’ll tentatively plan to make the SJW conference room at ISTC available for those initial small group meetings.


    If you have colleagues or students who you think should be involved in these efforts, please direct them to the web page listed above or have them contact me to be added to the mailing list. If you are receiving these messages but would like to be removed from the mailing list, just email me to let me know.


    Best wishes,



    Joy Scrogum, M.S.

    Emerging Technologies Resource Specialist

    Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC;

    A division of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

    Co-Coordinator, Sustainable Electronics Initiative (SEI;

    International Sustainable Electronics Competition (

    Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable (GLRPPR;

    GLRPPR is a member of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx;