Mapping electronic waste and recycling in Indiana, USA

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Rogers, Kameron
Yang, Jason (Jiansheng)
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Honors College
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The exponential growth of the consumer electronic market in recent decades has, unsurprisingly, resulted in an unprecedented amount of electronic waste. Electronic waste can be particularly troublesome as it does not easily decompose and often contains hazardous materials. Given these circumstances, in 2011 the state of Indiana enacted a law which prohibits the discarding of most electronic devices by Indiana households. This law is rarely enforced however, and while the state of Indiana does offer a spreadsheet of locations where electronics can be recycled, it is not particularly user friendly or comprehensive. To assist Hoosiers in recycling their old electronics, I added nearly 150 additional locations to the Indiana database of electronic recycling facilities, appended relevant information to the locations already included in the database, mapped the locations on a digital map of Indiana, and included a query function which allows Hoosiers to find the right facility for their needs. While creating this map, I found that an alarming number of locations either do not recycle televisions or charge a fee to do so and that roughly 215,000 Indiana households are further than 30 minutes away from an electronic recycling center. From my analysis, I recommend that the state of Indiana subsidize the recycling of televisions and batteries as well as encourage the development of more electronic recycling facilities in the rural parts of Indiana.