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From Trash to Treasure – IT Collection, Reuse, and Donation

Trash To Treasure: Program Overview

At McMaster University, IT waste is either recycled through Greentec International Inc., or reused through IT waste collection cages and on IT Waste Collection, Reuse, & Recycle Day. Due to the greenBYTE program ending, we are currently looking for computer refurbishing capacity to continue to provide computers to at-risk children. The Trash to Treasure program hopes to leverage the opportunity for a collaboration between McMaster University and a refurbishing partner to support at-risk children and improve the university’s IT waste collection system.

Trash to Treasure team members and at-risk children at Cathy Weaver Elementary

IT Waste Disposal Process

Have IT waste? Request a FREE pickup, and everything will be done for you!

Step 1: Request

You fill out a short online pickup request form:

Step 2: Pick up

Facility Services will come and pick up your IT waste.

Step 3: Sanitize

UTS will sanitize all IT waste.

Step 4: Reuse

We are investigating who will refurbish sanitized IT waste and distribute working systems to at-risk children.

The remainder of the IT waste will be upcycled at a campus reuse event open to all McMaster students, staff and faculty.

Frequently Asked Questions

UTS assumes the responsibility of fully sanitizing the collected hard drives, including hard drives from computers collected by Facility Services as well as those brought to collection events.

Sanitization, also known as data erasure or wiping, is a secure means of erasing data on magnetic media, such as hard drives in computers. Other methods, such as reformatting or directory removal, are not sufficient to securely erase data; it will still be recoverable. Ensure your data is securely sanitized by taking advantage of this program.

We are collecting both university-generated IT waste and personal devices. Yes, this means you can bring in your old laptop(s) or home computer(s), or those provided by friends, family, or acquaintances. However, if you are a business looking to increase IT reuse, we refer you to SLSH greenBYTE. Equipment pick-up (on campus) and hard drive sanitization by UTS continues to be free of charge.

Yes, but due to the difficulty in guaranteeing secure data erasure, we ask that you reset your mobile device to factory settings before donating. Otherwise, they will be recycled.

Upcoming Events

IT Collection Day TBD due to COVID-19; postponed until at least September 2021.

Students collecting and disassembling IT waste for reuse and recycling

A service charge is usually applied to the collection of IT waste items when the Facility Services phone number is used. For the 2020 calendar year, Facility Services has pledged that NO service fee will be applied to faculty & staff who use the form to have their IT waste collected.