E-waste Project

The E-waste team

The E-waste team of the Green Office wants to address the problem of scarcity of metals that are used in electronics. Who does not have an old mobile phone, laptop or printer lying idly in a drawer or in the attic? All that so-called "e-waste" is loaded with rare metals such as gold, silver, copper and palladium. The metals needed to produce electronic devices are currently being massively mined in the South, with devastating ecological and social consequences. However, it can also be different. The metals present in electronic waste could be recovered for 95% by recycling and "Urban Mining". Unfortunately, currently only 1-2% of all mobile phones worldwide are being recycled and we want to do something about this with our E-waste team!

Mine Your Phone

Thank you for contributing to our campaign! We collected 1118 phones over two weeks in March 2019.
Mine your Phone is an initiative of the Green Office for KU Leuven in collaboration with Recupel vzw, Out Of Use and KU Leuven. From 11 till 24 March, we set up 20 Recupel boxes on several KU Leuven locations to recycle broken or old phones.
We will plant a tree for every working phone and every 4 non-working phones we collected in November. Out Of Use will finance this through donations for Natuurpunt vzw.

Thanks for joining us!
12/3 Lecture: E-waste recycling and urban mining: part of a circular economy?
14/03 Docu-evening "The E-waste Tragedy"
21/03 Recyle your e-waste, get a free drink or snack @ Café Recupel
21/03 Lecture: E-waste recycling: What's the social impact?


These phones are being processed by companies working on the topic of metal recovery. After the collection, Out Of Use tested them to see which devices can be reused. The non-reusable devices went to Umicore, where the final processing happens and valuable elements can be recovered.

Note: By law those companies are obligated to remove ALL data on the phones they deem 'reusable'. Our partners guarantee that your data will be safely removed.


Question? Idea?
Let us know! Contact the Green Office

Zwartzustersstraat 2,
3000 Leuven

Opening hours
Only during the academic year
Mondays 18:00–20:00
Tuesdays 9:00–11:00
Can’t make it? Mail us for an appointment