New State Law Prohibits Electronics in Landfills

New State Law Prohibits Electronics in Landfills
Posted on 01/06/2012

The New Year brought a new law to Illinois, banning the disposal of electronics in landfills because of the materials they contain.

Beginning January 1, many common household electronic items cannot be disposed of with regular household refuse. Disposal is permissible only through licensed electronics recyclers. Items included in the landfill ban and mandatory recycling include televisions, computers, monitors, printers, electronic keyboards and mice, fax machines, video cassette recorders, portable digital music players, digital video disc players, video game consoles, servers, scanners, digital converter boxes, cable receivers, satellite receivers and digital video disc players.

If any of these items are included in the regular household refuse, they will be removed by the village's waste contractor, Waste Management, and left at the curbside. Residents must arrange for the separate disposal of these items.

Village of Orland Park residents have access to free electronics pick up provided by Vintage Tech Recyclers, working in cooperation with the village's contracted waste hauler, Waste Management.

"We're pleased to be able to offer the free pick up service for village residents," said Trustee Ed Schussler, chair of the village's Public Works and Engineering Committee. "Residents can call for a pick up and Vintage Tech will come out to retrieve the items," he said. The pick up service is limited to residential addresses only.

Residents should call one week before the pick up is needed, calling Vintage Tech's toll-free number at 1-866-631-1707. Or, requests for service may be sent to willcounty@vintagetechrecyclers.com. One main item must be included with the pick up, either a computer, printer, laptop, monitor or television. There is a limit of ten items per home and only ground level front door pick ups are permitted.

In addition to the banned items noted above, many other broken or obsolete electronic items are also accepted by Vintage Tech Recyclers, including: personal computers, laptops, monitors, keyboards, electronic mice, modems, hard drives, CD Rom/tape drives, power and USB cords and cables, CDs, DVDs, floppy discs, UPS battery back ups, printers, televisions, VCR, DVD, laser disc players, portable radio/CD players, speakers/stereo systems, CBs/2-way radios, digital clocks, microwaves, cameras, holiday lights, palm organizers, hand held games, video game players, joysticks, game controllers, typewriters, word processors, copiers, fax machines, scanners, adding machines, postage machines, calculators, paper shredders, telephones, cell phones, answering machines and pagers.

"The local media have publicized a number of area drop off sites for electronics recycling," said Orland Park Director of Public Works Ed Wilmes. "Residents can choose to drop off their items or schedule a pick up by Vintage Tech," he added. For questions or drop off site locations, residents may call Public Works at 708-403-6350.

Because computers often contain highly personal information from bank data to tax records, it is imperative for residents to clear the hard drive before disposing of or recycling a computer. Residents should reformat the hard drive or purchase a program that writes over the hard drive. The process can be slow because this type of program writes to the disc repeatedly. An overnight formatting is often required.

It is the responsibility of the computer owner to ensure data erasure. Agencies affiliated with the electronics recycling program assume no liability for protecting electronic data. Further information is available at www.willcountygreen.com.