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Computer Equipment Disposal

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has determined that non-working and obsolete computer products must be treated as hazardous waste. Monitors and terminals contain from 4 to 8 pounds of lead and fail the NYS DEC TCLP test for toxicity. Circuit boards of both computers and printers contain lead solder, mercury and cadmium, and often also fail the TCLP test. These items should be disposed of in an environmentally sound manner.

The key points of NYS DEC Regulations are:

  1. All non-working /obsolete computer products should be disposed of in an environmentally sound manner

  2. Monitors and terminals are always a hazardous waste (or household hazardous waste, if from household use).

  3. Other components of a computer system (e.g., circuit boards, keyboards, mice) could be hazardous depending on their lead, mercury, or cadmium content, which can vary from product to product.

  4. The recycling facility must be on file with the DEC.

  5. A C7 Notification Letter must be filed with the DEC that a legitimate recycler is processing the product.

  6. The generator continues to be responsible for product improperly disposed of through non-recycling channels.

  7. Donated equipment must be operational and for continued use.

  8. Storage for over 90–180 days may be a violation.

  9. Substantial penalties may apply for non-compliance.

Additional information is also available at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website.  The current rates for disposal are about $15 for a PC, monitor, and printer.

Campus agencies must arrange to have their old computer equipment removed by an authorized disposal service that complies with all city, state and federal regulations. You may want to contact our campus Environmental Health and Safety Officer, Ed Musal, at x6917 for further information on hazardous waste removal. One authorized recycling vendor is Per Scholas, who can be reached at (718) 991-0362.

CTS will continue to dispose of old computers that are being replaced with new ones on an individual basis, and properly dispose of them as we have done in the past. However, CTS cannot accept bulk disposal or removal of old computer equipment on behalf of other departments.

Please keep in mind that all departments must fill out a Property Control System – Request for Disposal or Surplus Form.pdf – when disposing of old computer equipment (see attached). The original will go to the department head, a copy should be taped to the item being disposed of, and a copy must go to our campus inventory control coordinator in Purchasing and Accounts Payable. Please call x6920 if you have any questions about using this disposal form.