DANVILLE — Wondering what to do with your old answering machine, outdated VCR player or that laptop that just died?
You can dispose of them and other obsolete or unwanted electronic items properly at an electronics-recycling event, 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. April 21 at Bryant Industries, 1406 Warrington Ave., west of Danville.
The event is free and is being sponsored by the Vermilion County Health Department, Bryant Industries and Keep Vermilion County Beautiful. It will be Keep Vermilion County Beautiful's primary Great American Clean-Up recycling event for this spring.
"I can't think of a better way to celebrate Earth Day," said Brent Richards, chief operating officer at Bryant Industries. The company routinely accepts electronic items for recycling at their facilities.
"It's our responsibility as a company to see to it that residents have an avenue to recycle these items in a responsible manner and feel comfortable that their items are going through the proper channels."
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Americans throw away about 400 million electronic products each year.
Those products can contain toxic materials such as lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium and beryllium that must be properly managed to prevent soil and groundwater contamination. But obsolete electronic products can also contain valuable materials that can be recycled for reuse such as copper, gold and circuit chips.
As of Jan. 1, Illinois has banned electronic products such as televisions, computers, monitors, DVD players, fax machines and MP3 players from being disposed of in landfills.
At the collection event, people can drop off answering machines, calculators, camcorders, cameras, CB radios, CD players, CD/DVD/floppy drives, cellphones, copy machines, cords and cables, desktop PCs, fax machines, hard drives, keyboards, laptops, mice, microwave ovens, modems, pagers, paper shredders, postage machines, printers, radios, scanners, servers, speakers, tape drives, telephones, two-way radios, typewriters, UPS backups, VCRs, video game systems, word processors, and many other household electronics.
"Even old and broken electronic items have components that can be recycled and reused, and other components that can be toxic," said Shirley Hicks, Vermilion County's public health administrator. "These products can no longer be taken to landfills in Illinois, so managing them properly is the right thing to do."
"We wanted to have a collection close to Earth Day," Hicks continued, "and we appreciate the effort that Bryant Industries is putting into helping us achieve that."
A second electronics-recycling event is being planned for the fall.