Secure and sustainable electronics recycling event returns

Courtesy of the Office for Sustainability

3 min read

Ten thousand pounds — that’s hundreds of computers, keyboards, printers, mobile phones, cameras, stereos, power cords, and other electronic items that would otherwise have taken up space in filing cabinets, conference rooms, or in a landfill. Instead, that’s the amount of electronics collected at the Secure and Sustainable Electronics Recycling event last year.

“This event was a huge success last year,” said Christian Hamer, chief information security officer for Harvard University Information Technology, highlighting the benefits of the program. He added that hundreds of certificates of destruction were issued.

Free recycling events returning this spring

As part of Harvard’s ongoing efforts and commitment to sustainability and information security, Harvard University Information Technology and the Harvard Office for Sustainability are partnering again to provide the Harvard community with opportunities to recycle personal and University electronic devices for free.

The first community-wide event will be held at the Science Center Plaza on Monday, April 22, from noon to 2 p.m., in conjunction with Earth Day. Following that, the event will be held at Harvard Medical School and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health on April 24–25.

Beyond recycling and disposal

Harvard has a goal to reduce waste per capita 50 percent by 2020 (from a 2006 baseline). The Harvard Sustainability Plan includes a focus on minimizing the waste most harmful to people and the environment. Apart from responsible and ethical recycling, and disposal of hazardous and electronic materials, reuse remains a high priority. Events like freecycles and FixIt Clinics are held throughout the year to help reduce waste.

Open to the Harvard community, a FixIt Clinic will be held April 22, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Cabot Science Library. Registered participants can consult a volunteer coach about disassembling, troubleshooting and repairing broken items like electronics, appliances, bicycles, and many more.

Before heading over

Many items including wires, cables, computer and printing equipment are accepted. Refrigerators, washing machines, dryers, AC units, CRT monitors, televisions, and loose batteries will not be accepted.

DataShredder, Harvard’s approved vendor, will be conducting the data destruction and electronic recycling. For devices containing confidential or high-risk information like research, financial, and institutional information, certificates of secure destruction are available upon request.

For University records, the authority of the General Records Schedule or an Office Specific Schedule approved by the Harvard University Archives is required. For more information, visit the Archives and Records Management website.

On Wednesday, April 24, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., an electronic waste drive will be held at the Pavilion during SpringFest for the members of the Harvard Business School community. For more information, email