Webinar Sept. 5–“Electronic Waste: Our Problem and What We Should Do About It”

Join us for a webinar on Wednesday, September 5, 2012, 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM CDT. This seminar will be hosted live at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) in Champaign, IL, and simultaneously broadcast online. The presentation will be archived on the ISTC web site (see http://www.istc.illinois.edu/about/sustainability_seminars.cfm for more information and additional webinar archives).

Presenters include William Bullock, Affiliate with the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center and Professor of Industrial Design in the School of Art and Design, U of I at Urbana-Champaign; and Joy Scrogum, Emerging Technologies Resource Specialist at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, Prairie Research Institute, U of I at Urbana- Champaign. 

The presentation with provide an overview of the widespread problem of e-waste (discarded electronics such as old computers and cell phones) and will outline why the current electronics manufacturing and consumption system is not sustainable over time. A new model of sustainable consumption is needed based on a closed loop system that minimizes or eliminates the concept of waste. Experts in manufacturing, business, engineering, and design must work together to innovate new sustainable solutions. As informed consumers, we can also do much to promote the move to a more sustainable system by making wise choices in our purchase, use, and disposal of electronics. In response to the need to nurture development of a more sustainable system, the Sustainable Electronics Initiative (SEI) at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) was established to promote development of the sustainable design, production, recycling and continued use and reuse electronic devices.

SEI is geared toward conducting and sponsoring research, as well as integrating principles of sustainability into the curricula and educational experiences of engineers, industrial designers, computer scientists and others involved in the design, manufacture, and consumption of electronic products.  Research projects involving repurposing of used electronic components and investigations into consumer behavior will be briefly described, as well as a major educational component of SEI, the International E-Waste Design Competition.

Register online at https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/712846039.

SEI, the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable (GLRPPR), and ISTC will be hosting a series of seminars this fall focused on sustainable electronics research and issues. Watch the SEI calendar for upcoming seminar dates. You may contact Nancy Holm, SEI Research Coordinator, to be added to the mailing list to receive email notifications of upcoming seminars.

Author: Joy Scrogum

Joy is a Sustainability Specialist at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC), a division of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She has worked on developing & maintaining online resources for the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable since 2001. She also currently coordinates the Sustainable Electronics Initiative & works on Zero Waste Illinois projects, including the Illini Gadget Garage and the Green Lunchroom Challenge. Key past projects include coordinating the International Sustainable Electronics Competition, developing & teaching ENG 498 "Sustainable Technology: Environmental & Social Impacts of Innovations," & Greening Schools, which focused on making K-12 facilities & curricula more sustainable.