Keeping our old computers out of the 'e-waste' piles

Eric Williams

Eric Williams, an assistant professor of civil, environmental and sustainability in the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering, is interviewed on a segment of the program Sustainability, which aired recently on National Public Radio, including local Phoenix-area affiliate station KJZZ-91.5 FM.

The show focuses on projects that scientists and engineers are working on to solve many of the world’s environmental problems.

Williams talks about his National Science Foundation-funded search for solutions to the growing worldwide problem caused by a proliferating amount of “e-waste.” That’s a short way of referring to all the junk we are creating when we toss out our old and used electronic equipment, especially computers.

Williams suggests ways we could properly recycle computer components or keep old computers in use. That way the chemicals and materials would not pile up on waste heaps and threaten to do environmental damage by finding their way into soils and water sources.

The segment begins about 18 minutes and 15 seconds into the 50 minute show (the entire program is worth a listen). Sustainability is part of the Global Challenges Series from the Purdue University College of Engineering.

Listen to Sustainability. And read more about Eric Williams and his "e-waste" research.