Monday, May 23, 2011

What To Do With Your Unwanted Electronics


What To Do With Your Unwanted Electronics
E-Waste: A serious worldwide environmental issue
By Sharon Wolff

Fact: Computers are used on average for less than three years and cell phones are replaced every 2 years. “Electronics waste is growing exponentially” (http://www.ecyclingcentral.com/). In this day of quickly evolving technology and seemingly planned obsolescence, consumers are compelled to possess the most updated electronic devices. For those of us who own even minimal gadgets and accessories, the collection most likely includes a television, cell phone, PDA, computer, printer, monitor, scanner, keyboard, modem, back-up technology, laptop, stereo, copier and fax machine. According to the Consumer Electronics Association, Americans own approximately 25 electronics per household. True, you paid good money for your electronic items, but when they become obsolete or unfixable, you may not be able to resell them.
 
So what do you do with your unusable electronics?  Did you know they should not be thrown away with your household garbage, to end up in the landfill?  In September 2008, Public Act 95-0959 became law in the State of Illinois. The act establishes a statewide system for recycling and/or reusing computers, monitors, televisions, and printers discarded from residences by requiring electronic manufacturers and retailers to participate in the management of discarded and unwanted electronic products.  Throughout Illinois, companies offering electronics recycling services are easy to find. Be on the lookout for community recycling events, which are usually free to the public. In September 2009, Illinois became the 16th state to adopt an electronics recycling law known as the Electronics Products Recycling and Reuse Act (SB2313). This legislation bans certain electronic items, mainly computers and televisions, from Illinois landfills starting in January 2012 (http://www.swancc.org/index.html).
 
The EPA considers many electronic “e-waste” items to be toxic and hazardous. Components within these devices contain heavy metals that when added to a landfill potentially leach into groundwater and contaminate soil air, humans, wildlife and the environment.  Compounds that must have an alternate method of disposal include lead, cadmium, beryllium, mercury, brominated flame-retardants, antimony trioxide, selenium, chromium and arsenic. Once separated from the original device, components like copper, steel, plastic, silver, glass and gold are valuable and reusable. Certified recycling companies create jobs within this growing line of work, conserve natural resources and energy and reduce air pollution and green house gas emissions.

So, where is your e-waste? Is it gathering dust in your closet, basement or garage? It’s time to take environmentally responsible action and e-cycle! 

Wolff’s Flea Market will make it very easy for you on June 11, 2011.  As a special free service to our Palatine community, COM2 Recycling Solutions will collect your e-waste for disposal between 9am and 2pm.

Drop off an item and get free admission the flea market! Shop 300 booths of antiques, collectibles, new merchandises, resale, tools, furniture, home d├ęcor, plants, clothing, jewelry, books, environmentally friendly merchandise and more!  Enter for a chance to win one of several environmentally friendly raffle prizes and Wolff Howlers for shopping! GRAB A FRIEND AND TRY A FLEA MARKET!(tm)

Sources:
http://www.ecyclingcentral.com/        
http://www.electronicsrecycling.com/UserDocuments/5windshazmat%20study.pdf
http://electronicrecyclers.com/ewaste-defined.aspx
http://www.swancc.org/index.html

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