CHICAGO (AP) - People who buy new televisions face a dwindling set of options for disposing of their old ones thanks to an Illinois law that makes it illegal to throw them in the trash.
Jennifer Jarland, recycling coordinator for Kane County, told the Chicago Tribune (https://trib.in/1YwVXGO ) that the list of places you can unload an old TV is getting shorter.
“There are not many places you can take your TVs, and yet they are banned from the landfills. So it’s a problem,” she said.
Not even charities seem to want old TVs because few people buy them.
“We actually had to pay people to take them away,” said Ron McCormick, business manager for The Salvation Army’s greater Chicago area. “Our mission here is to sell stuff for money. We can’t be losing money by taking TVs.”
Part of the problem is a mechanism in the 2012 law that was designed to help cover the cost of recycling, Jarland said. Manufacturers are required to pay the state based on a percentage of the weight of new electronics sold two years earlier in the state.
However, TVs keep getting lighter, which means the amount of money coming in keeps dropping, and the stream of TVs being disposed of isn’t decreasing. That means Illinois counties and recycling centers are left with the rest of the cost.
But help could be coming. Gov. Bruce Rauner has already signed a bill into law that will temporarily increase the amount of money electronics manufacturers will pay for recycling through 2017.
The 2012 law also requires the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to review the statute and, in the spring of 2016, propose any changes the agency believes are needed.
Jarland would also like people to not be so quick to replace TVs, something that people do far more often than in years past.
“We’re just being flooded, especially with those giant TVs,” Jarland said. “If they’re still working, keep using them.”
Information from: Chicago Tribune, https://www.chicagotribune.com
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