CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today celebrated Earth Month by awarding nearly $100,000 in grants to 49 counties across the state to build awareness of electronics recycling programs. This announcement is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to protect our natural resources and ensure a clean and healthy environment for future generations.
“Protecting our environment starts with everyone doing their part,” Governor Quinn said. “As Illinois celebrates Earth Month, we need to ensure everyone knows how they can safely get rid of the electronics they no longer use.”
“Our agency is proud to be working with so many local partners to help them be greener and safer about the way they handle electronic waste,” Illinois EPA Director Lisa Bonnett said. “The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency can help anyone with questions about where they can go to dispose of their electronics.”
Electronics recycling is important because many of their complicated components contain hazardous materials like heavy metals, mercury or lead that can seep into the land and contaminate nearby areas if they are dumped in a landfill. Additionally, many electronics can be reused by schools, churches and non-profits, sold for scrap or disassembled for parts in other devices.
Across the state, 49 counties will receive a $2,000 grant to help pay for flyers, radio and newspaper ads and other educational materials to let local residents know how to safely dispose of items like TVs, VCRs, computers, printers and video game consoles. These items are now banned from being taken away by waste haulers under the Illinois Electronic Products Recycling and Reuse Act. The grants are funded by fees paid by electronic manufacturers who sell products in Illinois.
In 2012, manufacturers received credit for recycling more than 42.6 million pounds of electronic products, more than three million pounds above the statewide goal. For calendar year 2013, manufacturers will be responsible for collecting and recycling more than 47 million pounds of electronics. That works out to 3.6 pounds for each of the 12.9 million residents of Illinois.
The counties receiving the first grants for electronic waste recycling promotion are:
Adams, Alexander, Boone, Carroll, Champaign, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Fayette, Franklin, Fulton, Grundy, Henderson, Jackson, Jo Daviess, Johnson, Kane, Knox, Lake, Livingston, Logan, Macon, Madison, Massac, McDonough, McHenry, McLean, Mercer, Montgomery, Ogle, Peoria, Perry, Pike, Pulaski, Putnam, Randolph, Rock Island, St. Clair, Tazewell, Union, Vermilion, Warren, Washington, White (shared with Saline and Gallatin), Will, Williamson and Woodford.
Illinois EPA maintains information on more than 500 collection sites and more than 140 registered collectors, recyclers and refurbishers, including a variety of not-for-profit organizations, retailers and government agencies that will accept items at no charge to the consumer. Illinois residents looking for where they can locally recycle their electronics should visit http://epadata.epa.state.il.us/land/eWaste/collection-sites.asp.