Residential electronics collection; looking to reduce greenhouse emissions

Residents will be able to drop off old or unwanted items for recycling at no charge at the Countywide Residential Electronics Collection.

The Countywide Residential Electronic Collection is a quarterly countywide electronic collections program coordinated by the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission and a host of other local government sponsors. On Saturday, August 7, from 8 am to 1 pm, residents living in the surrounding community can bring up to 10 electronic items to The News-Gazette Distribution Center at 3202 Apollo Drive in Champaign.

Over 75 teams of volunteers and workers will help unload up to five vehicles at a time. The drop offs will not exceed anymore than 15 minutes, Champaign County Regional Planning staff member Susan Monte said. “This is a great opportunity for residents to get rid of that old television set or computer monitor, for free,” said Monte.

Some of the acceptable items for drop off include: televisions, computers, laptops, computer monitors, printers, scanners and keyboards. This site will not be collecting batteries, but should contact a local city municipal building for drop off sites.

Many electronic products contain lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium and other material that pose environmental and health risks that must be managed, according to the Countywide Residential Electronics Collection press release. According to The Electronic Products Recycling and Reuse Act, beginning January 1, 2012, televisions, computers, monitors and printers will be banned from Illinois landfills. And violators who attempt to dispose of these items will be fined $100.

Many obsolete electronic products can be recycled refurbished or used. Items like computers, televisions, laptops and even cell phones contain metals, plastics and leaded glasses that have resale value. The reuse of these items help conserve natural resources and contributes to reduced air and water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Countywide Residential Electronic Collection press release.

All recycled items will be processed and recycled by the Vintage Tech Recyclers INC., located in Romeoville, IL. “ We hope students and people living in the community will take advantage of this free event,” said Monte. For a complete list of acceptable electronic items to be collected from residents for free, visit the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission website.