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E-Waste Recycling and a Day In Nature
Cook County residents can rid their homes of unneeded electronic devices called “e-waste” – including computers, video game consoles, VCRs, and cell phones – in an environmentally friendly way by simply dropping them off at collection sites in Lemont, and Barrington. The sites will serve as test locations for possible permanent e-waste recycling centers.
Cook County, Delta Institute of Chicago and the Forest Preserve District of Cook County will partner on two pilot events to accept e-waste drop-offs, as follows:
- Saturday, June 16: Sagawau Environmental Learning Center at 12545 W. 111th St., Lemont
- Saturday, June 23:Crabtree Nature Center at 3 Stover Rd., Barrington
Collections are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at both sites, and the drop-off service is free.
“Delta is pleased to assist Cook County in testing this free resource, with the goal to ensure that e-waste is handled in a reliable, safe and responsible manner,” says Delta CEO Jean Pogge. “The volume of e-waste is growing rapidly, and it’s vital that everyone help divert these items from landfills and incinerators.”
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said providing permanent e-waste recycling centers is a top county priority.
With the assistance of the Delta Institute and the Forest Preserve District, we plan to establish convenient drop-off sites so our residents can easily dispose of their old electronics,” she said. “We know that our residents are looking for ways to recycle and, in keeping with the
county’s commitment to sustainability, we will provide them with numerous options in the near future.”
The State of Illinois’ Electronic Products Recycling and Reuse Act, which took effect at the start of this year, makes it illegal to dispose of electronics in landfills, leading Cook County to work with Delta Institute in exploring the viability of establishing area e-waste drop-off sites. E-waste contains heavy metals that can harm the environment, including lead, mercury, hexavalent chromium and cadmium, by leaking into and contaminating groundwater.
Electronics also contain valuable products that can be reused, including plastic, tin/lead solder and other materials, thus conserving natural resources, reducing water pollution and energy use, and reducing air pollution associated with greenhouse gas emissions.
E-waste items eligible for drop-off at the pilot events include personal desktop and laptop computers; servers; printers; CRT and LCD monitors; televisions; computer cables, mice, and keyboards; fax machines, MP3 players, portable digital assistants (PDAs), video game consoles,
videocassette recorders (VCRs), remote controls (these take alkaline batteries, which must be removed) video disk players, zip drives, scanners, cell phones and chargers.
Typewriters and televisions with wood casing will not be accepted at the e-waste pilot sites, along with home appliances including stoves, refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, microwave ovens, electric can openers and blenders. Instead, residents should either contact ComEd or their municipal waste department for handling.
Managing recycling for the pilot events is USMe of Chicago (www.usm-e.com), which has earned special international,
federal and industry certifications, and carries state and city of Chicago licenses and permits. The company employs strict procedures designed to ensure that electronic hard-case materials are properly disposed of or reused, and that
computers are properly de-manufactured and information stored on hard drives is destroyed.
For additional information about e-waste – including a complete list of e-waste materials accepted at the pilot collection sites – please visit www.delta-institute.org.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant provided funding for the E-Waste project, through Cook County’s Department of Environmental Control.
More About Crabtree Nature Center
Owned by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Crabtree Nature Center is a beautiful place to explore and learn about the wildlife in Barrington. The center offers an educational exhibit building and several miles of self-guided trails for the entire family to enjoy. Year round, the center provides dozens of exhibits and programs about nature and wildlife that are free of charge.
Other events here
- Explore the Forest Sun, Jun 9, 12:00 pm–4:00 pm