Illinois Bans Electronics from Landfills

As of Jan. 1, 2012, it is illegal to throw most electronic devices in the trash. The new law also requires recycling programs to be free to consumers, paid for by electronics manufacturers. Jay Shefsky tries to find a way to get rid of his old computer on Chicago Tonight at 7:00 pm.

The following are instructions from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency on how to dispose of your residential e-waste:

Electronics manufacturers now are responsible for the cost of recycling millions of pounds of residential electronic waste (e-waste) in Illinois every year.

This means you may have options for safely getting rid of your old residential computers, monitors, laptops, televisions, and printers. Please note that old electronic equipment being discarded from a business is not covered by this program.

Here's how the program works. The Illinois EPA has compiled a list of e-waste collectors along with their collection site locations, whom you can contact regarding recycling either at no charge to you, or, if there is a fee, in exchange for a dollar-for-dollar coupon you can use to reduce the cost of new equipment.

Do not just show up at a collection site with your old equipment! Many collection sites are only open at selected times. Call the manager of the collection site nearest you for its schedule, as well as the types of old electronics the site will accept. Some sites will accept not only your computers, monitors, TVs, and printers, but also items like keyboards, mice, DVD players, and other electronics.

You can also help make Illinois greener by buying your equipment from manufacturers that have registered with the state and are complying with Illinois' law.

Also on our site is a list of electronics manufacturers that have not registered with the state or are otherwise not complying with the law. These manufacturers are prohibited from selling residential electronics in Illinois. Both they and Illinois retailers have been informed of this. You can obtain a list of manufacturers whose residential electronic equipment may not be sold to Illinois residents.

Find out even more about Illinois' e-waste program at the home page of the Agency's e-waste website. Please e-mail EPA.E-Recycling@illinois.gov with questions, comments, and concerns.

Thank you for helping rid Illinois of electronic garbage!

*The Illinois EPA assigns an annual recycling goal to each electronics manufacturer. Once that goal is achieved, a manufacturer and its collection sites may decide to no longer offer free electronics recycling for the remainder of the year. Your local collector can tell you if free e-waste recycling is available, or if you can avoid any charges by holding your equipment until next year.

If you're interested in purchasing a refurbished computers for personal use or for use in a school or non-profit, visit PC Rebuilders & Recyclers.