Environmental, Health and Safety Services

2008 Virginia Tech E-Waste Recycling Event

Drop-Off Days for School Systems, Commercial Businesses, Colleges and other Institutions:

Thursday, November 6th - Friday, November 7th, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Community Day for Public Electronics:

Saturday, November 8th, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

There is no cost for bringing materials to the E-Waste recycling event.


Old Blacksburg Middle School, 501 South Main Street. Intersection of South Main Street and Eheart Street. Please follow signs.


From South Main Street, proceed towards down town. Turn right onto Eheart Street. From North Main Street, proceed through down town and turn left onto Eheart Street. Follow the signs to the parking area at the rear of the school. We'll be waiting to unload your car, truck, or van.

What Are the Hazards of Old Electronic Equipment?

Along with many other serious issues facing our environment, the world is experiencing a crisis in electronic waste. Toxic materials such as lead, mercury, chlorine and bromine are commonly used in producing computers and other electronics, and if these devices are dumped into solid waste systems after they have outlived their usefulness, the toxins can seep from landfills into groundwater or be released by incinerator emissions or ash.

Hazardous e-waste is often sent to developing countries for recycling. However, once there it is often simply discarded. Even if recycling occurs, the process used in those countries is very dangerous to workers and pollutes the general environment.

Is There a Safe Alternative to Dumping or Incinerating?

The good news is that end-of-life electronics can be recycled responsibly, which is why Virginia Tech is joining up with Hollins University and hosting its second E-Waste Recycling Event November 6th - 8th.

Businesses and industries, area school systems, colleges and universities, and the general public can bring their old electronic equipment to our campus. Our goal is to collect 200,000 pounds of e-waste, making this what we believe to be the largest endeavor of its kind to date in Virginia.

From here, tractor trailer trucks will transport what we collect to a Massachusetts recycling facility that processes material on-site instead of sending it to countries with differing views on worker health and safety. This facility obtains the maximum amount of reusable materials possible and complies with laws and regulations concerning occupational health. It also guarantees the complete removal and destruction of digitized personal information stored on hard drives or other media. (Virginia law requires that all state agencies, their field operations, and institutions of higher education properly remove all Commonwealth data from hard drives prior to disposal or release).

What Materials Are Accepted at the Virginia Tech E-Waste Recycling Event?

The following items are acceptable for recycling:

Computers & Accessories

  • Cables
  • CD-ROM/DVD Drives
  • CPUs
  • All-in-One CPU/Display
  • Hubs
  • Keyboards
  • Laptops
  • LCD Displays
  • Memory
  • Mice
  • Monitors
  • Routers
  • Servers
  • Software
  • Speakers
  • Switches
  • UPS Systems
  • Wires

Handheld Devices

  • Cell Phones
  • Pagers
  • PDAs
  • Two-way Radios

Audio & Video Equipment

  • Camcorders
  • Cameras
  • Projection Televisions
  • Game Systems
  • Radios
  • Stereos
  • Tape Players
  • Televisions
  • VCRs

Office Equipment

  • Adding Machines
  • Electronics in Wood Cabinets
  • Fax Machines
  • Photocopiers
  • Printers
  • Scanners
  • Surge Protectors
  • Telephones
  • Typewriters

What Materials Are Not Acceptable for Recycling?

  • Batteries Not Integral to Computer Systems
  • Loose Batteries
  • Cardboard
  • Contaminated Equipment of Any Type
  • Cracked or Broken CRT Monitors
  • Hair Dryers
  • Hazardous Equipment of Any Type
  • Hot Curlers
  • Microwaves
  • Overhead Projectors
  • Paper
  • Styrofoam
  • Toner Cartridges
  • Smoke Detectors

Where Can I Find Out More about E-Waste Recycling and other Initiatives Underway to Support It?

Visit the Basel Action Network at www.ban.org;
the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition at www.svtc.org;
or the Computer Take Back Campaign at www.computertakeback.com.

For more information about the Virginia Tech's E-Waste Recycling Event, contact Rob Lowe, Virginia Tech's Environmental Engineer and Ewaste Coordinator, at rlowe@vt.edu or 540-231-2510.

Photos from the 2007 E-Waste Event