Recycling of End-of-life Batteries

Rechargeable batteries are a prime source of university e-waste, as they power most portable electronics like cellphones, laptops, digital cameras, camcorders, and PDAs. An on-campus recycling program for batteries is one component of an overall e-waste management strategy that allows facility administration to provide an environmentally sound method for disposing of products that are potentially hazardous to the environment.
The Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL) is exceptionally aware of e-waste generated at the university. Therefore, as a first step, all used batteries are collected under each division. In this regard, the Center for Environmental Studies and Sustainable Development (CESSD) has provided used-battery collection bins for each division. Once the bins are filled, batteries are handed over to E-waste recyclers through CESSD according to the university E-waste disposal protocol.

Disposal of UPS Batteries

On average, the life cycle of many batteries in UPSs is 3–5 years, even though UPSs can survive for 10+ years. Therefore, the university has implemented an e-waste recycling process. Accordingly, interrupted UPSs are sent to the IT workshop for battery replacement, and dead batteries are collected there. The collected e-waste is handed over to e-waste recycling companies that are registered with the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) through calling tenders. OUSL has arranged more than 500 UPS batteries for disposal with the agreement of CEA-registered licensed E-waste collectors.

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Disposal of Computer E-Waste

Within the realm of the university IT workshop, a commendable initiative revolves around repairing broken computer items to promote their reuse, thereby minimizing electronic waste and maximizing the lifespan of technological resources within the university. This practice involves skilled technicians meticulously diagnosing and repairing malfunctioning laptops, monitors, printers, CPUs, projectors, and other components, ensuring that they are restored to optimal working conditions. By dedicating their expertise to refurbishing these items, the IT division not only saves valuable resources but also significantly reduces the environmental impact associated with electronic waste. Moreover, this approach aligns with sustainability goals by extending the lifespan of electronic devices, allowing the university to derive the maximum utility from its technological investments. This commitment to repair and reuse not only demonstrates fiscal responsibility but also represents a deep-seated philosophy of environmental stewardship, showcasing the university’s dedication to creating a more sustainable and eco-conscious university environment