UST’s computer-recycling programs benefit the environment, local nonprofits St. Thomas Newsroom May 29, 2001 Now that UST has moved to leasing rather than purchasing computer equipment, the recycling stream of old computers and monitors has decreased steadily. Nonetheless, UST still has recycled 26,811 pounds or almost 13 and a half tons of electronics since the beginning of the fiscal year, July 1, 2000.Much of this weight was sent to area processors to have the components broken down into recyclable commodities with all harmful metals and materials removed. Modern electronic computer equipment is made of more than 1,000 different materials, including lead and cadmium in computer circuit boards, lead oxide and barium in computer monitors’ cathode-ray tubes, mercury in switches and flat screens, and brominated flame retardants on printed circuit boards, cables and plastic casing, photo-active and biologically active materials and acids. Society doesn’t want most of these chemicals in its landfills and especially its water supply, so UST pays expensive processing fees to have them removed.Whenever possible, the Recycling Team pulls out reusable components to benefit local nonprofits and to save the university these processing costs. So far this fiscal year, the Recycling Team has given away 263 computers, 296 monitors and 52 printers.These electronics have gone to a variety of schools, churches and nonprofits, including (alphabetically):Bethel Assembly, Fosston Bethel Christian Fellowship, St. Paul Breckenridge Valley Assembly Catholic Digest Center for Asian Pacific Islanders Children’s Center, Montessori School Christ the King-St. Thomas the Apostle School Christian Fellowship Union Cloquet Gospel Tabernacle Duluth Gospel Tabernacle Ekklesia Fellowship Estherville Community School Family Academy Charter School First Presbyterian Church, South St. Paul Fosston Baptist Church Global Radio Outreach Highland Catholic School Hope Christian Church Johnson High School, St. Paul Marquette Gospel Tabernacle Mary Mother of God Church (Vladivostock, Russia) Maternity of Mary-St. Andrew’s School Maxfield Elementary School NET Ministries Salvation Army Silver Lake Camp Sand Hill Lake Bible Camp Sisters of Mary, Ladysmith St. Charles Borromeo School St. Elizabeth Seton School St. John’s School in Jordan St. Katherine’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church St. Mark’s School St. Matthew’s School St. Paul High School for the Recording Arts St. Paul Outreach St. Raphael’s School St. Vincent de Paul School Starland Charter Schools Teens Alone Trinity Bible Church University of Minnesota at Crookston Walker Family CenterThere are several area schools whose entire computing labs have been furnished by UST’s unwanted electronics. The university is happy to help these local students (and potential Tommies) with this valuable resource.While the university cannot accept computer systems from private individuals because of the high cost of reprocessing, it does encourage everyone to give away any useable old equipment to area schools, churches, libraries and nonprofits. Don’t leave it in the closet, because it very soon loses any possible value to these nonprofits. And as a bonus, you receive a tax benefit for your charitable contribution.If you have any questions about St. Thomas’ electronics recycling or know of a nonprofit in need of older but usable computer components, please contact Bob Douglas, UST recycling coordinator, at (651) 962-6388.