DON’T WASTE YOUR TECH

By Ayrel Clark-Proffitt, Sustainability Office

U Recycle Day is back Thursday, April 19 from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. on the south side of the Rice-Eccles Stadium parking lot.

If you are looking for a place to recycle your personal broken home electronics, private documents, and some hard-to-recycle items, drop them off and contribute to responsible recycling. Open to university and Salt Lake community members. Residential waste only; no business waste, please. A full list of eligible items can be found here.

University departments needing to recycle items, look no further than Surplus & Salvage, the department dedicated to managing retired university property, including electronics, lab equipment, furniture and more.

Mike Gordon, retail/sales manager for Surplus & Salvage

“Surplus & Salvage is among the oldest campus-wide recycling programs at the U. Beginning operations in 1972, Surplus accepts items from campus departments and recovers any materials that can be recycled or resold,” said Clifton Grindstaff, associate director of Surplus & Salvage, who has worked in the department for the past 30 years.

The Surplus & Salvage store in Fort Douglas is a multilevel showroom for retired university property. It includes an assortment of computers, screens, projectors, desks, cabinets, and more. There is also an auction site for higher-value items. Vehicles are the highest value item sold by Surplus & Salvage, but the department also sells a high number of computers and lab equipment. All hard drives are removed and crushed. Items are made available to university departments and other government agencies first, and then are available for public sale after 15 days. When items can’t be resold, they are scrapped for parts or sent to a certified e-waste recycler. An estimated five tons of e-waste are recycled per month.

“Property accounting and retirement is outlined by Policy 3-040 in the University of Utah Regulations. Electronics can contain items that harm human health, including lead, mercury, and other hazardous materials. Federal and state regulations also require responsible recycling or disposal of electronic waste — fines can be levied if electronic waste is found in the trash,” said Grindstaff.

Departments needing to retire old work computers — or any other piece of U property — here’s how to do it:

  1. Find the university property tag and write down the item’s asset number, make, model, and serial number.
  2. Complete the simple one-page Retirement/Transfer Form authorizing the transfer of the item to Surplus & Salvage.
  3. Submit a work order to schedule a pick-up. Pick-ups depend on the item size; materials that fit in a pick-up truck can be completed within a week. Alternatively, you can drop it off at the Surplus & Salvage store.

“Surplus & Salvage is the ‘grave’ part of cradle-to-grave — we’re the last people to touch an item on campus,” said Mike Gordon, retail/sales manager.