Tech-Friendly: Recycle your old electronics this holiday season

Paul Gorski
Paul Gorski

By Paul Gorski

I have my own Tech-Friendly holiday tradition: my annual article encouraging you to recycle old electronics.

Enjoy that new smartphone or flat-screen television this holiday, but recycle the old ones properly. Old electronics contain hazardous components, and we do not want that material in our landfills. It is against Illinois law to dispose of electronics in landfills, even more reason to re-purpose or recycle that old digital camera, tablet or laptop computer.

Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful (KNIB) lists local resources for the reuse, resale and recycling of computers, electronics and a whole lot more at http://www.knib.org/recycling/green-guide/electronics/. If you did not know already, KNIB is a great resource for all things recycling in the Rockford region.

The Illinois EPA website lists registered residential e-waste collection sites at http://epadata.epa.state.il.us/land/eWaste/collection-sites.asp. Heads up: Goodwill and Best Buy are local e-waste collection sites.

Ogle County residents should visit http://oglecounty.org/departments/solid-waste-management/electronics-recycling/ to learn more about their local recycling programs. According to that website, “electronics may be dropped off at the Ogle County Solid Waste Management Department’s attached garage, located at 909 W Pines Road, Oregon, on the last Friday of each month, unless there is a holiday.” Dec. 26 is the last drop-off Friday this year.

Recycle cell phones and help a soldier at http://www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com. “Cell Phones for Soldiers is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing cost-free communication services to active-duty military members and veterans.”

You will want to securely erase that old computer hard drive before recycling. Super Shredders (http://www.supershredders.org/), a division of the Barbara Olson Center of Hope, offers secure deletion and destruction of computer data so the data will never be recovered. Super Shredders also provides secure hard-copy document destruction services.

Read these previous articles for more resources and a bit more detail:

Tech-Friendly: Recycle the old electronics this holiday season,” from the Nov. 14-20, 2012, issue, http://rockrivertimes.com/commentary/2012/11/14/tech-friendly-recycle-the-old-electronics-this-holiday-season/.

Tech-Friendly: Recycle old electronics part two — deleting data securely,” from the Nov. 21-27, 2012, issue, http://rockrivertimes.com/commentary/2012/11/21/tech-friendly-recycle-old-electronics-part-two-—-deleting-data-securely/.

Have a merry Christmas and a very happy New Year!

Paul Gorski (www.paulgorski.com) has been a technology manager nearly 20 years, specializing in workflow solutions for printing, publishing and advertising computer users. Originally destined to be a chemist, his interest in computers began in college when he wrote a program to analyze data from lab instruments he hard-wired to the back of an Apple IIe.

Posted Dec. 23, 2014

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