Chicago, Joliet, Naperville Waste Recycling
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Electronic Waste Recycling Information
What items are considered to be "electronics?"
of electronics are: televisions and computer monitors, laptops, computers
and computer peripherals (peripherals are anything you plug into
your computer for input, output, or storage, keyboard, mouse,
printer, external hard drives, etc.),
televisions, audio and stereo
equipment, VCRs, DVD players, video cameras, telephones, fax and
copying machines, cellphones, wireless devices, video game
consoles and more.
Why prevent electronics from entering the landfill?
Most electronics are made up of chemicals that could potentially be harmful to the environment if disposed of incorrectly. Metals such as lead, silver, barium, cadmium, and mercury could be included in these devices. With proper recycling, these metals could be disposed of safely and wouldn’t be able to harm the environment.
useful life of a computer is approximately 3 years and continues
to decline. Only a
small of computers are being recycled, though the production of
computers is rising.
contain valuable natural resources, such as precious metals,
plastic and glass. Discarded electronics means discarded
resources that could be reused.
Conserving these resources also means preventing
additional pollution and wasted energy obtaining virgin
electronic models, especially televisions and monitors, contain
cathode ray tubes (CRTs), batteries, and mercury switches.
These elements contain mercury, lead, and other
types of hazardous materials.
Recycling prevents the emission and exposure of these
Companies may be qualified for a tax break if they donate computers to schools receiving special grants.
What are the regulations concerning electronics disposal for businesses?
The business generating the waste is the only one responsible for determining whether the waste would be considered hazardous waste under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The generator also has to make sure that the waste is managed and disposed of properly.
The EPA allows electronics that will be recycled to be managed under the Universal Waste regulations, which simplifies the management of these wastes.
The EPA must be
notified if your business intends on exporting cathode ray tube
(CRT) computer monitors to make sure the company allows the
What are the regulations concerning recyclers, refurbishers or dismantlers?
Due to current regulations, electronics that will be reused, rebuilt, or remanufactured are not considered waste under the RCRA. If the units are demanufactured into individual components, the RCRA must evaluate any issues on a case-by-case basis. Individual components that are generated and disposed of require evaluation under TCLP criteria and should be managed according to that.
Waste Management Regulations may also apply to the management of
electronic wastes, but changes are expected for these
regulations in the very near future.
What can I do to help minimize the electronics disposal problem?
Before deciding to dispose of your electronics determine if the product can be potentially upgraded for use in the future or donated to someone else who will be able to use it (try contacting charities, non-profits, governments, or schools)
If you do
decide to dispose of electronics, determine if the product will
be able to be recycled anywhere in your area and whether or not
the product can be disposed of according to regulations in your
Why reuse or recycle outdated computer and electronic equipment?
devices make up approximately one percent of the annual
209,700,000 tons of solid waste generated in the
Electronic waste can be reused or donated to not-for-profit organizations or demanufactured into usable components. Components such as cathode ray tubes, printed circuit boards, and silicon chips can be demanufactured into raw materials such as metals, plastics, and glass.
MORE ON E-CYCLING
at a recycling processor, electronics are weighed in bulk and
then separated into types according to how they will be
Once the parts
are disassembled, each component is evaluated for possible reuse
Parts that are not repairable are sent for separate processing
and recovery into raw material, like glass, plastic, and various
3. Parts that can be refurbished may be physically repaired. Computers may require software installations or memory upgrades, and other electronic equipment may require small part replacements.
recyclables, computers posed a particular challenge for
recyclers, but the numerous parts of a computer provide numerous
options for resale or reuse.
Many hard drives and circuit boards remain intact within
an older model computer and can be resold.
Screws and clips can be magnetically separated from the
computer and sold as scrap.
Monitors: Monitors are separated from their plastic frames and metal supports. If the monitor contains a CRT, it is removed and crushed, safely containing any hazardous mercury waste. The glass and metal obtained is cleaned and sold.
RESPONSIBLE e-WASTE MANAGEMENT
Find a school,
organization, or family to whom you can donate your old
the life of the computer avoids waste of any kind.
If donating, ensure that equipment is operational, and
verify any software requirements of the receiving organization.
local recycling center or retailer for special collections,
programs, or incentives for electronics.
Be purposeful when making new electronics purchases. Look for electronics that are energy efficient, made with recycled content, use minimal packaging, and can be easily upgraded.
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