- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 15, 2015

JOLIET, Ill. (AP) - Electronics recycling efforts across Illinois have received a helping hand from the state after Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation addressing shortfalls in the program.

The bill seeks to save underfunded electronics recycling programs statewide that have been jeopardized as demand for services continues to grow, The (Joliet) Herald-News (http://bit.ly/1f3mETG ) reported.

The previous electronics recycling law was “out of date and putting an undue burden” on local governments, said Catherine Kelly, a spokeswoman for the governor’s office.

“This bill gives local governments, manufacturers and stakeholders time to develop new regulations for electronics recycling,” she said.

The bill is a temporary but critical solution, which will help save electronics recycling programs in Illinois from being shut down due to a lack of funding, said Dean Olson, head of Will County’s Resource Recovery and Energy Division.

The new legislation increases the amount of items electronic manufacturers have to pay to recycle each year by about 10 million pounds, according to Marta Keane, recycling program specialist and green business relations coordinator for Will County.

It attempts to address the problem faced by the state last year, when manufacturers reached their required goal halfway through 2014, allowing them to stop paying recycling companies. Without the legislation, the hefty cost of recycling could’ve shifted to consumers or to local governments that hold collection events, Olson said.

Will County’s contract with its longtime vendor lasts through April 2017. But other counties and local governments haven’t been lucky enough to secure long-term contracts.

Although the program needs to be overhauled, the new law will bring relief to electronics recycling programs that would’ve been forced to shut down, said state Rep. Emily McAsey, who sponsored the bill.

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Information from: The Herald-News, http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/heraldnews

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