Last Revised: December 20, 2022

Electronic equipment that is broken or obsolete must be properly disposed or sent for recycling. DO NOT PLACE ANY ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT IN THE TRASH, EVEN IF IT IS BROKEN.

On January 24, 2013 the PA Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) banned most electronic equipment from disposal in the regular the trash.  This regulation is titled The Covered Device Recycling Act of 2010.

Electronic equipment may contain heavy metals and other materials that can be hazardous to human health and the environment.  Computers and electronic equipment typically contain:

  • Lead - Computer monitors contain a picture tube known as a cathode ray tube (CRT). CRT's contain leaded glass, and are the largest source of lead in municipal waste. Solder used in printed circuit boards may also contain lead.
  • Cadmium - The largest source of cadmium in municipal waste is rechargeable nickel-cadmium (NiCd) batteries. These  batteries are found in most desktop and laptop computers.
  • Mercury - Some electronic equipment also contains recoverable quantities of mercury, which is a toxic metal.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers some discarded electronic equipment as characteristic hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

Unwanted electronic equipment must therefore either be donated for reuse or sent for recycling.

Penn Computing provides recommendations for preparing equipment for recycling or disposal including the removal of sensitive data and commercial software from the machines.

Please contact your school's or center's computing services group prior to donating, recycling or disposing of any equipment.

Student Computer Recycling 

The ISC Tech Center can accept student owned computer equipment for recycling at no charge.

Computer Recycling

Computer and electronic equipment that cannot be donated must be sent to an electronics recycler.  eForce and Elemental Inc., are both locally operated approved University vendors.  These vendors will pick up all types of computer and electronic equipment.

For questions regarding this program, please contact Jim Crumley at the Office of Environmental Health and Radiation Safety (EHRS), 215-746-5036.

Links to additional resources:

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP)

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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