CHAMPAIGN – A third electronics recycling event in Champaign will likely push this year's collection total to more than 300,000 pounds.
Susan Monte, recycling coordinator for Champaign County, said the collection will be from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 7 at The News-Gazette Distribution Center, 3202 Apollo Drive, C.
Two previous quarterly collections (in February and May) resulted in 242,166 pounds, or about 121 tons, of electronics materials to be recycled, Monte said. Televisions and monitors account for 71.6 tons, the largest category of materials.
Monte said that at past single countywide events, about 36 tons were collected in 2007, 68 tons in 2008 and 60 tons in 2009. Quarterly countywide collections are being held this year and next, she said.
The quarterly residential recycling collections are coordinated by the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission, with several local government offices sponsoring the program. The News-Gazette provides its distribution center as host site for the collections.
Illinois passed legislation in 2008 to establish a statewide system to recycle or reuse computers, laptops, monitors, televisions and printers discarded by residents. As of Jan. 1, 2012, televisions, computers, monitors and printers will be banned from Illinois landfills.
Monte said many electronics items contain lead, mercury, cadmium and other materials that could be environmental or health risks.
Many obsolete electronic products can be recycled or refurbished for reuse, she said. Many items contain metals, plastics and leaded glass that have some resale value. The reuse of these materials conserves natural resources and energy.
Vintage Tech Recyclers Inc. sorts the products and assesses which can be cleaned and refurbished for remarketing. Nonworking products are dismantled and separated into marketable commodities, Monte said. None of the electronics waste is sent to landfills.
She said the countywide collection program enables residents to drop off unwanted electronics in a safe and relatively quick manner. More than 75 workers and volunteers unload the vehicles that line up, she said.
The collection this year has been more efficient than in the past and largely successful due to the many volunteers, Monte said.
About five dozen of those have been Champaign County probation staff or people doing community service work as part of their probation, according to Bill May, public service coordinator for the county.
"It's a great project," May said. "I've had people who will do this all year. They like doing it."
May said the probationers work from 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. during the electronics recycling events.
"They work very hard," he said.
Other community service projects worked on by probationers are the Habitat for Humanity and public library events, May said.
For the free electronics collection, residents may bring up to 10 of the following: