Electronic Waste Recycling
Electronic waste, or e-waste, includes TVs, computers, monitors, and other electronic equipment. It is the fastest growing part of the solid waste stream. Only about 12% of E-Waste is recycled nationwide and the rest ends up either landfilled or shipped abroad to dumping grounds where the toxins in e-waste are concentrated. Furthermore, according to the U.S. EPA, even the tiniest amounts of the toxic substances in e-waste can pollute groundwater if they leak out of landfills.
ELPC has successfully fought for legislation that requires electronics manufacturers to collect and recycle or reuse electronic waste. This legislation makes both environmental and economic sense, and acts as an economic development tool to create jobs and revenue for residents and business. ELPC’s advocacy was essential in helping pass the following legislation:
- Illinois’ Electronic Products Recycling Act (2008)
- Wisconsin’s similar bill (2009)
- Illinois’ Mercury Thermostat Collection Act (2010)
- Illinois’ Electronic Recycling and Reuse Act (2011)
In this video from NBC, ELPC’s Mel Nickerson discusses electronic waste recycling in Illinois before the 2009 the digital TV conversion.
Looking for a place to recycle your old electronics? Earth911 has a powerful search tool that finds recycling centers near you that accept all sorts of e-waste.