Illinois to test curbside e-waste pickup

The majority of cities across the U.S., though strangely not all, have curbside pick-up for recyclables. Some – including San Francisco, and Seattle – are now even experimenting by including  with compostables with their curbside recycling efforts.

Illinois is going one better, testing out a pilot program that focuses on curbside pickup of electronic waste products.

Vintage Tech Recyclers of Romeoville, Ill., is offering free residential pickup to encourage more  people to recycle their old, used electronics. The comprehensive list of items they will accept includes:

  • laptops and monitors
  • printers, fax machines and scanners
  • televisions
  • all types of telephones and answering machines
  • computer mouse devices
  • keyboards
  • zip drives
  • computer cables
  • string lights
  • MP3s and PDAs
  • video game consoles
  • video cassette players/recorders and DVD players
  • light bulbs
  • packing materials
  • appliances and other household hazardous wastes are not included

Minneapolis and Davenport, Iowa are among the few municipalities in the U.S. to offer e-waste recycling programs. The key to any successful recycling program is consumer participation. Studies continue to show that the easier it is for consumers to actually do their recycling, the more effective the program will be – and the greater amount of material that gets recycled. It just can’t get much easier or simpler than having it curbside.

Perhaps if the plot program in Illinois is successful – as in wide residential participation – this kind of program could be expanded, at least to large metropolitan areas.  Infrastructure would  need to be created  to manage this, but the opportunity to keep an even larger amount of electronics out of landfills is definitely appealing. This kind of program could really make a difference.

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