Ban on most electronic waste in landfills begins in January

Computers collected for recycling by Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful. (Photo provided)

Online Staff Report

Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful (KNIB) reminds Illinois residents that the state’s Electronic Products Recycling and Reuse Act with recent amendments becomes fully effective in January 2012.

The act bans virtually all e-waste from landfills expanding on the measure passed in 2008 that outlawed computers, monitors, televisions and printers from landfills.

The new law extends the ban to other electronics, including keyboards, portable music devices, scanners, video game consoles and other items.

The harmful toxins in these devices are harmful to our air and water,” said Lori Gummow, KNIB executive director. “Many of these items can be repurposed for reuse; it is important to remember that it is irresponsible to simply dump them into our landfills.”

Manufacturers will be required to recycle 40 percent of the weight of items they sell in 2012; the law forces the consideration of end-of-life product issues.

These aggressive targets position Illinois to have one of the nation’s highest waste recycling goals. According to the Environmental Law & Policy Center, this means that statewide e-recycling will increase from 28 million pounds in 2011 to more than 50 million pounds in 2012.

Penalties for criminal disposal of waste were also strengthened reclassifying the violations as felonies, lowering the violation threshold, and increasing fines from $5,000 to $25,000.

Twice each year, Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful conducts a Metals & Electronics drive in order to collect and recycle e-waste,” Gummow said. “We do this as a public service free of charge, with the exception of a fee charged for the removal of Freon from certain appliances. Also, every Saturday throughout the year, we do take cell phones at our Roscoe Recycling Center.”

The next planned Metals & Electronics drive will be Saturday, May 5, 2012. The Roscoe Recycling Center is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon, weather permitting.

For more about KNIB, call (815) 637-1343 or visit

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