New Electronics Recycling Rules Starting Soon

December 30, 2011

Did you get any new electronics for the holidays? What are your plans for the old ones? Starting next week, throwing them out or sticking them at the curb for pick up will be illegal in Illinois.

As 2011 turns into 2012, more than 200 new laws will go into effect in our state, including the updated Illinois Products Recycling and Reuse Act, which increases the amount of electronic products that become illegal to dump in landfills from four to 17.

Our world is filled with electronics, which are the fastest growing objects of municipal waste. But electronics discarded into landfills can distribute toxic materials — including lead, mercury and arsenic — into the soil and ground water. This has to stop.

Plus, just because you have a brand new iPod doesn’t mean there isn’t someone out there that would be thrilled to have your old one.

Illinois law already requires you to recycle your old TV, printer and computer monitor, but starting January 1, you will now have to also recycle old keyboards, DVD players, portable music devices and more.

The new list of covered electronic products in Illinois:


old computer*Monitors


*Computers ( laptop, notebook, netbook, tablet )

*Electronic keyboards

*Facsimile machines

*Videocassette recorders

*Portable digital music players

*Digital video disc players

*Video game consoles

*Small scale servers


*Electronic mice

*Digital converter boxes

*Cable receivers

*Satellite receivers

*Digital video disc recorders

Throw any of these items away, and you could find yourself with a $25 fine for first-time offenders. While no one will be searching your garbage, if you leave an electronic at the curb of your metro Chicago real estate, the garbage men will now be required to leave it behind as evidence of your illegal act.

“This bill not only prevents toxic substances from entering into the ground,” said State Rep. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston). “But it also encourages the continued rapid growth of the e-recycling industry, supporting small businesses around the state that have created thousands of new jobs in recent years.”

Instead of tossing your electronic trash to the curb, consider finding a local recycling site.

The Solid Waste Agency of Lake County offers electronics drop-off sites all over the county.

DuPage County has a program of its own, as does Kane County.

The Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County offers two drop-off sites, and the city has a Household Chemicals & Computer Recycling Facility that is located on Division Street.

There are also sites like and where you can post items you want to give away.

Specialty businesses, like 1-800-GOT-JUNK, will come to your home and pick up your electronics for a fee.

Whatever you do with your obsolete electronics in 2012, if you throw them away, you are committing a crime in Illinois.

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