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Consumers take advantage of competitive pricing and close-out sales to upgrade their electronic items such as e-readers, cell phones, televisions, tablets and notebooks, but they may not stop to consider what becomes of their used electronics.

The Illinois’ Electronic Recycling & Reuse Act (SB 2313) became effective Sept. 17, 2008. However, “Section 95. Landfill ban” of that bill has received attention in recent weeks, because, effective Jan. 1, all televisions, computer monitors, desktop and notebook computers as well as printers are  banned from landfills.

Because the City of Evanston is a member of the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County (SWANCC), local residents may recycle electronic items at its Glenview facility. Under SB 2313, only certain materials are accepted in SWANCC’s recycling program options: PCs and laptops, computer monitors, mobile phones, televisions and video game consoles, among them.

Lists of both “acceptable materials” and “unacceptable materials” (such as microwaves, home appliances, dehumidifiers, humidifiers and air conditioners) are available at www.swancc.org.

There are two permanent drop-off host locations for residents only (no business or institutional use) of SWANCC-member communities. These collection locations are closed on national holidays.

Glenview Transfer Station
    1151 N. River Road (across from the Maryville Academy)

Saturdays: 9-11:30 a.m. (except Jan. 7)

Winnetka Public Works
    1390 Willow Road

Tuesdays: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  Thursdays: 1-3 p.m.

Hazardous household waste and unlisted items may not be dropped off, and electronics may be recycled only during hours of operation.

Consumers who are watchful of their carbon footprint may be pleased to learn that other recycling options exist. For example, Evanston’s two Radio Shack stores participate in that company’s Trade & Save program. Customers who bring in items with no trade-in value may have their electronic devices recycled for free. Details are area available at www.radioshack.cexchange.com.

Target and Best Buy are two additional retailers with comparable electronic recycling programs. A visit to their respective websites, www.nextworth.com and www.bestbuy.com, will provide consumers with the relevant information.

Dell and Goodwill Industries International have formed Dell Reconnect, a free program that offers an easy, convenient and responsible way for people to recycle end-of- life computer equipment. A complete list of participating Goodwill locations and additional information about  Dell Reconnect is available at www.dellreconnect.com.

The Salvation Army has two Family Thrift Stores & Donation Centers in nearby Rogers Park and Skokie. Evanston’s former thrift store on Kedzie Street near Chicago Avenue was demolished recently. Location and contact information are available at www.salvationarmyusa.org.

Since August 2004, savvy residents of Evanston and surrounding towns have joined the Freecycle Evanston group. It is open those who want to “recycle” things rather than throw them away; nonprofit groups are welcome, too. Anyone can sign up at www.groups.yahoo.com/group/FreecycleEvanston.

Consumers who would like to learn more about electronic and other forms of recycling will find an excellent online resource is Earth911.com. The next City of Evanston Public Works Department sponsored Electronic Recycling Day will be held in July 2012 with details to follow closer to the event.

Contact Eco Gal at mayrepress@gmail.com or read her blog: http://askecogal.blogspot.com.