In addition to the core mantra of “reduce, reuse, and recycle,” at Purdue University, we also seek to “reeducate” our community on the proper usage and distribution of material resources. The e-cycling program of the Purdue Warehouse and Surplus Store emerged from the core goals of:
- Redistributing assets within the university.
- Selling assets when they are no longer needed.
- Recycling the maximum number of assets that cannot be reused or sold.
Thus, our e-assets may be repurposed in other sites within Purdue, or they may be sold to the public through the Warehouse and Surplus Store, or they may be deconstructed in-house by the store’s technicians for recycling parts.
This three-part approach both promotes landfill diversion and generates a significant amount of revenue for the university. Approximately 5000 pounds of power cords cut off from machines, and large numbers of computer hard drives, circuit boards, aluminum, memory sticks, and metal cases are recycled. Moreover, Purdue sells hundreds of desks, chairs, filing cabinets, and other university surplus furnishings through the Surplus Store for reuse, keeping them from landfills. The Store diverted almost 600 tons of waste over 2011-2012, with 470 tons of waste diverted in the 2012-2013 year. Purdue raised that number back up to 597 tons of waste diverted to the store in the 2013-2014 fiscal year.
In 2012, Purdue’s e-cycling program was awarded the APPA – Leadership in Educational Facilities’ “Effective and Innovative Practices Award,” and we were also ranked first in the Pilot Electronics Competition at the RecycleMania Tournament.
A team from Purdue shared findings from the e-cycling program at the 2012 annual conference of the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).
Learn more about the Purdue Warehouse and Surplus Store