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Computers & Electronics Recycling

What is the electronics recycling program?

The Vanderbilt Electronics Recycling Program is a mechanism for disposing of equipment such as monitors, CPUs, keyboards, printers, fax machines, and other electronic equipment such as TVs and even microwaves.

What do I do when I no longer want my electronics?

Electronics recycling includes the recycling of all surplus electronic items such as desktops, laptops, services, printers, scanners, projectors, all computer peripherals (keyboards, mice, speakers, cameras, and cords), Audio-Visual Equipment, phones, and electronic storage media (tapes, CDs, hard drives, and flash drives). All items are accepted regardless of functionality, age, or condition.

  1. If the equipment has stored data such as a desktop computer, laptop, smartphone, etc., it should have hard drives cleaned of all personal and confidential information prior to requesting a surplus collection. VUIT provides Scrubbing Tools to assist with this process.
  2. If the electronics were purchased with grant funds, the department must contact the Office of Contract and Grant Accounting (, 615-343-6655) to determine whether the electronics are owned by Vanderbilt. Even if the electronics are not owned by Vanderbilt, they should still be handled appropriately satisfying all EPA and TDEC regulatory requirements. OGCA or the granting organization can give written/email permission to the surplus team to surplus the electronics. If the electronics are owned by Vanderbilt, then proceed to step 3.
  3. If the electronics are a tracked asset/capital equipment (initial purchase value of $5,000 or more), a Property Transmittal Form (PTF) must be completed by the department that owns the property. The PTF should then be sent to VU Finance and SEMO (scan and email to and
  4. If the electronics are not a tracked asset OR after the Property Transmittal Form has been approved by VU Finance, call Service Information Systems (SIS) at 615-343-9675 or fill out a Facility Request Form to request a collection of electronic for recycling. All electronics recycling collections are completed at no cost.

Why can’t I just throw my old computer and electronics equipment in the dumpster?

Some electronic equipment contains levels of heavy metals that could leach out and contaminate water supplies if placed in an ordinary landfill. Environmental laws forbid this equipment from being disposed of as ordinary trash.

Vanderbilt requires that all computers must be processed through the electronics recycling program (Vanderbilt Procurement Policies and Procedures: Surplus Property on page 38).

But I’ve been told that if my computer doesn’t work, no one will take it for recycling. Is that true?

No. All computer equipment will be accepted, regardless of its condition or brand. All parts of the electronics system will be accepted (laptops, printers, keyboards, CPU towers, cords, and monitors).

How much does it cost to use this Program?

Nothing. This service, including collection, is provided FREE OF CHARGE.

What happens to the equipment?

If the equipment is in good working condition, it will be redistributed, sold, or donated, if possible. If the equipment is unusable, it is shipped to an electronics recycling facility that disassembles or shreds the electronics, segregates the parts, and recycles the materials.