2 min read
A huge pile of electronics are waiting to be recycled.

The continued production of electronic waste (e-waste) creates unanswered environmental questions and other concerns for the US and the world. To date, the US has not developed a comprehensive e-waste management system. Educating the public and being an advocate for positive community, state, and national change are part of the land-grant mission of Alabama A&M University (AAMU). The E-Waste Institute at AAMU serves as a medium to educate, train, raise public awareness and influence public policies about safe environmental practices for e-waste in Alabama and around the world. The E-Waste Institute is a collaboration between AAMU’s College of Agricultural, Life and Natural Sciences and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System’s Urban Affairs and New Nontraditional Programs unit.

What is the E-Waste Institute?

  • E-Waste Institute is a collaborative partnership between Alabama A&M University and Alabama Extension that raises public awareness and influences public policies about safe environmental practices for electronic waste in Alabama and around the world.
  • The E-Waste Institute supports the three-fold mission of teaching, research and public service at Alabama A&M University.

The Goals of the E-Waste Institute

  • Advance the knowledge, skills, and abilities of individuals, communities, organizations, and companies to adopt environmentally supportive behaviors.
  • Enhance the long-term health and well-being of citizens.
  • Support the competitive edge of the United States in the global market.

E-Waste Awareness & Outreach

  • Citizens’ E-Waste Awareness Campaign, including workshops, seminars, and conferences
  • Youth e-waste awareness
  • Environmental campaigns & programs
  • In-Service training
  • Environmental publications
  • E-cycling drives

Waste Compliance & Training

  • Corporate training by certified professionals
  • Undergraduate & graduate course development

E-Waste Environmental Research & Development

  • Certification process & procedures
  • Scientific inquiries (sampling & analysis)
  • Graduate & undergraduate student research

The E-Waste Problem

Public education concerning electronic waste (e-waste) is becoming increasingly important. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the number of obsolete, broken, or irreparable electronic products in households and businesses is growing at 3 times the rate of household trash. Moreover, the EPA has estimated a 5 to 10% increase in global e-waste each year, yet only 5% of the 40 million tons generated annually is ever recovered (EPA, 2011). Unfortunately, many of the materials used in these products are toxic to humans and the environment due to the presence of hazardous substances such as lead, nickel, cadmium, and mercury.

Examples of e-waste products* include, but are not limited to:

  • Household Appliances
  • Telecommunications Equipment
  • Electrical Tools
  • Medical Devices
  • Refrigerators
  • Vacuum Cleaners
  • Laptop Computers
  • Printers
  • Telephones
  • Video Cameras
  • Musical Instruments
  • Sewing Machines

Chemicals & Hazardous Substances Found in Electronics

  • Mercury affects the nervous
  • Arsenic causes lung cancer and damages the nervous
  • Cadmium causes liver damage and impairs fetal
  • Lead damages the brain, kidneys and the nervous
  • Chromium irritates the nose, throat, lungs, skin, and
  • Bromine affects the respiratory

Contact Us

State Office

Alabama A&M University

(Madison County & Statewide)
Dr. Karnita Garner
Office: (256) 372-8331
Email: kfg0003@aces.edu

Urban Centers

Dale and Houston Counties

Phillip Carter
Office: (256) 794-4108
Email: phillc2@aces.edu

Elmore, Autauga and Montgomery Counties

Roosevelt Robinson
Office: (256) 270-4133
Email: robinrl@aces.edu

Mobile and Baldwin Counties

Jack LeCroy
Office: (251) 574-8445
Email: jml0003@aces.edu

Morgan and Lawrence Counties

Allyson Shabel
Office: (256) 974-2464
Email: ams0137@aces.edu

 

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