Illinois passes e-waste legislation

Illinois Governor Rod R. Blagojevich signed legislation requiring electronics manufacturers to collect and recycle or reuse electronics products. The announcement was made on the same day the United States Government Accountability Office released a report on e-waste dumping and scolded the United States EPA for failing to adequately address the problem of electronic products containing hazardous waste.

As one of the most comprehensive pieces of electronics collection and recycling legislation in the nation, Senate Bill 2313, sponsored by Sen. Susan Garrett (D-Highwood) and Rep. Elaine Nekritz (D-Des Plaines), protects the environment and citizens of Illinois from harmful toxins in electronics waste.

At no charge to consumers, the law authorizes the use of a combination of incentives and mandates to reduce the ever-increasing amount of electronic waste – televisions, printers, computer monitors, computers, laptops, printers, fax machines and MP3 players – and their toxic substances, such as lead, cadmium, copper, flame retardants, and phosphorus, from being disposed in Illinois landfills. It also gives manufacturers flexibility in the strategies they use to meet their goals, such as partnering with retailers and local governments to sponsor collections. Manufacturers, recyclers, refurbishers and collectors must also register annually with the Illinois EPA.

Effective January 1, 2012, landfills would be prohibited from knowingly accepting any of the covered electronic devices for disposal.

SB 2313 is effective immediately.