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What is E-Waste?

Electronic waste (or e-waste) includes any used, unwanted electrical or electronic devices. Though most e-waste can be recycled or reused in some way, e-waste currently makes up around 70% of the toxic waste found in dumps.

Tufts complies with Massachusetts regulation of e-waste, which bans large electronic appliances from landfills. Tufts also partners with Allied Computer Brokers, Inc. to recycle all kinds of e-waste and electronic media, including small electronic or battery-powered devices, cell phones, charges and cables (“anything with a cord”) and computer parts.

These can be placed in e-waste bins located around campus in Medford, Boston, and Grafton. Find e-waste locations for all Tufts campuses on the Tufts Eco-Map. If you are a Tufts faculty or staff member and you have electronic devices which need to be recycled, please fill out a work order to have them picked up.

Additionally, you can recycle your electronics through the manufacturer or retailer. Click below for more detailed information:

Products Shipping Information Drop-off Information
Free with shipping form. Batteries and iPods accepted at Apple stores.
Free shipping via FedEx for HP and Compaq products with pre-printed voucher. Fee for other products is $10-$25. Staples stores accept many HP and non-HP consumer products, except TVs.
Free shipping or pickup of Dell product. free pickup of non-Dell item with purchase of Dell product. Partnership with Goodwill for Dell Reconnect accepts any brand of electronics except mobile phones.
Free shipping for Kindles via UPS with pre-printed voucher. Not available.
Free mailback shipping for various products weighing less than 25 pounds. Drop Samsung and non-Samsung products at over 1,000 third-party locations.
Free shipping for Sony products weighing less than 25 pounds. Drop Sony products at about 850 third-party locations.
 Best Buy
Free recycling in stores of most products. Free appliance removal when purchasing a new one. Or, $100 for home pickup of two items. Accepts most consumer electronics, regardless of where they were purchased. Also, recycling kiosks for ink cartridges, rechargeable batteries, cord, cables, etc.
Free shipping of Microsoft hardware, including Xbox. Cellphones, rechargeable phone batteries and computers accepted at Microsoft stores.

(Credit: Wall Street Journal)

How to Recycle Toner and Ink Cartridges

Please identify which item type you want to recycle and locate it within this list:

  1. From Konica Minolta Multi-functional devices (MFDs)— large copier/printers used by multiple people
  2. From companies where return label is provided

1. Cartridges from Konica Minolta multi-functional devices (MFDs)

The University Copier Program provides Konica Minolta Multi-functional Devices (MFDs) that print, copy, scan and fax capabilities. Upon finishing a MFD toner cartridge, you should follow these steps:

  1. Open Konica Clean Planet Program in your web browser
  2. Login using your Customer ID and Zip Code. -OR- Register at Konica Clean Planet Registration -OR- use the Office of Sustainability account (Customer ID: 2000782817 Zip Code: 02155).
  3. Click the “Orders and Pickups” tab and select “Place Order”
  4. For program type, select “Single Label Program” and choose the quantity needed
  5. When you’re done click on “submit order.” Label will appear in webpage along with a box on the right which allows you to print it directly from the browser.
    • Single labels are good for packages up to 20 pounds, giving you the option to ship multiple toner cartridges together.
  6. Affix label to package containing the old cartridge(s) and mail through UPS
    • Most single cartridge boxes will fit in UPS drop boxes.

* Further information about MFDs can be found on Tufts University Copier Program

2. Other inkjet and toner cartridges with return programs

***Anytime there is a return label in the new toner box (or instructions on how to get them) the user must send it back themselves! ***

Manufacturers that place a return label in the box, include, but are not limited to: HP, Canon, Brother, Lexmark, Innovera and Epson.

If a label is not provided or shipping label is misplaced you can print mailing labels directly from the manufacturer’s websites listed below.

  1. Package cartridges either in the box the new toner came in or your own box (see manufacturer website if you need to send back more than one).
  1. Use the pre-paid shipping label provided with the original box, or print label via website listed below
    1. HP: For ink and toner Generate Label Here
    2. Canon: For toner Generate Label Here, ink cartridges can be dropped off at a FedEx Print and Ship Locations or at a drop off station on campus (see below)
    3. Brother: For ink and toner Generate Label Here
    4. Lexmark: For toner Generate Label Here (Toner), for ink cartridges Generate Label Here (Ink)
    5. Epson: For ink and toner Generate Label Here
    6. Xerox: For ink and toner Generate Label Here
    7. Dell: For ink and toner Generate Label Here
    8. Samsung: For ink and toner Generate Label Here
  2. Affix label to package containing the old cartridge(s) and ship
    1. Most single cartridge boxes will fit in UPS drop boxes.
    2. Leave package at a UPS pick up point in your office or a nearby office if one exists.
    3. If necessary leave correctly labeled packages at the interoffice mail pick up location in your office and mail services will bring package to a UPS pick up location.

3. Ink Jet and Toner Cartridges without return programs

Drop off at the collection sites at the campus center (lower level, in the back), 574 Boston Ave (top floor), or 520 Boston Ave (first floor, middle of hallway). **this is ONLY for cartridges from manufacturers without a return program**

Why Recycle E-Waste

Electronic devices contain extremely hazardous materials, including lead, mercury, and cadmium. These chemicals can leach into the soil when they’re disposed of in landfills, impacting the health of plants and animals and leading to respiratory problems in humans when inhaled. Most e-waste produced in the U.S. ends up landfills and dumps in developing countries, particularly in China, India, and Ghana. Some of the e-waste that ends up in these countries is exported illegally from Europe in the U.S.

A Chinese child sits in an e-waste dump. Via

Greenpeace reports that unprotected workers, many of them children, dismantle computers and TVs in order to obtain the metals that can be sold. The remaining materials are then burnt or dumped, and some of these materials contain toxic metals, including lead, in fatally high quantities. Many of the chemicals and metals are known to harm sexual reproduction and to cause cancer.


Read blog posts about electronics recycling.

Why You Should Care if Your E-Recycler is Certified, Leah Blunt, Earth 911