Illinois – Electronics Take Back Law

The Illinois Electronic Products Recycling and Reuse Act (SB2106) is breaking the mold of 25 state e-scrap laws. Under the law, passed in 2008 and amended in 2011, companies that reuse machines get twice the credit of those companies that recycle the materials.

The law addresses the fastest growing part of the U.S. waste stream, mandating that manufacturers pay for recycling their electronics after consumers are through with them. The 2008 law, which banned e-scrap from landfills in the state, originally covered four products – computers, televisions, printers, and monitors. In 2011 it was amended to include 14 more products including electronic keyboards, fax machines, videocassette recorders, portable digital music players, digital video disc players, video game consoles, small scale servers, scanners, electronic mice, digital converter boxes, cable receivers, and satellite receivers.

“The bill not only prevents toxic substances from entering the ground,” said State Rep. Daniel Bliss (D-Evanston), “it also encourages the continued rapid growth of the e-recycling industry, supporting small businesses around the state that have created thousands of jobs in recent years.”

According to the Environmental Law & Policy Center, this law is expected to boost electronics recycling to 50 million pounds in 2012, up from 28 million pounds in 2011. It is worth noting that the 2010 Recycling Economic Information Study estimated that the economic impact of recycling and reusing electronics at nearly 8,000 jobs created and over $600 million in revenue. This estimate is more than double the number of jobs projected in the 2001 study.

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Neil Seldman

Neil Seldman, Ph.D, directs the Waste to Wealth Initiative. He specializes in helping cities and businesses recover increasing amounts of materials from the waste stream and add value to the local economy through new processing and manufacturing facilities. He is a co-founder of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.