Electronic Equipment Recycling

Policy Summary

It is the policy of the George Washington University to either recycle or properly dispose of electronic equipment in a manner that removes any information from that equipment consistent with the university’s commitment to information security, while protecting the general environment from the potentially hazardous materials contained in certain electronic equipment components.

The purpose of this policy is to establish general procedures for information security in the context of the classification, disposal, and recycling of unwanted electronic equipment at the campuses of the George Washington University in accordance with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations (40 CFR 261).

Who is Governed by this Policy 

  • Students
  • Staff
  • Faculty


Hard Drives and Other Data Storage Devices

To protect any non-public information that may be stored on electronic equipment, hard drives and data storage devices must be sanitized of sensitive data prior to disposal. If your device has a hard drive, or if you are not sure if your device has a hard drive in it, contact the GWInformation Technology Support Center, (202) 994-GWIT (4948).

Examples of devices with hard drives include:

  1. Desktop and Laptop Computers,
  2. Servers,
  3. Multi-Function Copiers, and
  4. Mobile Devices

Hazardous Materials

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) currently classifies discarded electronic equipment containing lead, mercury, and cadmium as hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). As such, electronic equipment should not be discarded in the trash under any circumstances. For the purposes of this policy, electronic equipment waste includes but is not limited to the following: Computers, computer monitors, televisions, VCR and DVD players, copiers and printers, fax machines, cordless phones and cell phones.

In order to properly dispose/recycle electronic wastes, the university has entered into a partnership with Dell Asset Recovery Services for EPA compliant recycling. Dell Asset Recovery Services will properly dispose of the equipment and provide the university documentation to support the asset disposition. If you have university-owned electronic equipment you wish to dispose of, follow the university’s follow the e-cycling instructions in the university’s Waste and Recycling procedures.


Electronic Equipment Waste: Any used electronic equipment, such as computer monitors or printers, that may contain hazardous materials including lead, mercury, and cadmium.

Related Information


Contact Phone Number Email Address
IT Support Center 202-994-4948 [email protected]
Environmental Health and Safety 202-994-4347 [email protected]


Responsible University Official: Chief Information Officer
Responsible Office: GW Information Technology

Noncompliance with this policy can be reported through this website.