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Our View: Be sure to recycle that old TV

Published: Friday, May 10, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

Being “green” is in.

A little more than a year into a ban that prohibits electronics from going into landfills, many Illinois residents are embracing a law aimed at protecting the environment.

As of January 2012, old electronics such as TVs and computers must be recycled. The law applies to residents and electronics manufacturers.

Close to 39 million pounds of electronics were recycled in the first year of the ban, according to the state. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency said electronics manufacturers have recycled 50 percent more electronic waste since the ban started.

That’s not to say more education isn’t needed. For example, Mike Buss, customer service supervisor for MDC Environmental Services, recently said trash collectors still regularly come across old TVs or computers on the curb.

When residents call to ask why an item wasn’t picked up, Buss informs them of how to properly dispose of it.

Although it might not be as easy as setting a TV on the curb, recycling such items helps the environment. Electronic devices contain metals such as cadmium, lead and silver, and putting those in landfills could contaminate groundwater.

In DeKalb County, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, DeKalb County Health Department and local municipalities have partnered to provide opportunities for residents to recycle electronics – almost all of them on Saturdays.

The first Saturday of each month, electronics are collected for recycling in DeKalb at city parking lot No. 3 at Grove and South Fourth streets, from 9 to 11 a.m. They also are collected the same day in Genoa at the east parking lot at City Hall, 333 E. First St., from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

The third Saturday, there is a collection at the Public Works building in Sycamore, 475 N. Cross St., from 9 to 11 a.m.

Call 815-748-2408 for details on other collection points and times.

The state also keeps a list of places to recycle electronics, available at www.epa.state.il.us/land/electronic-waste-recycling.

While it may be inconvenient to lug your old TV to a recycling event, the payoff of a healthier environment is worth it. We encourage people to continue taking part in electronics recycling.

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