Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Increase Electronics Recycling in Illinois

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation that will take a major step to increase e-recycling in Illinois. The new law overhauls the state’s Electronic Products Recycling and Reuse Act by requiring more electronic products to be recycled, increasing recycling goals for Illinois’ manufacturers and strengthening penalties for those who do not follow the law.

“This law will keep reusable materials from filling our landfills, and it will help us put people to work giving those materials new uses,” said Governor Quinn. “Today’s action reinforces our commitment to a green Illinois that continues to be a leader in protecting the environment.”

            Senate Bill 2106, sponsored by Sen. Susan Garrett (D-Lake Forest) and Rep. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston), expands the types of electronic products that will be subject to the state’s landfill ban. Current law requires computer monitors, televisions and printers to be diverted from landfills. Under the new law, the list of items required to be recycled is expanded to include keyboards, portable music devices, scanners, videocassette recorders, video game consoles and more.

            “Governor Quinn has made the recycling of e-waste a top environmental priority for the state, which is why Illinois is a leader on removing electronics from our waste stream,” said Sen. Garrett.

            “This bill not only prevents toxic substances from entering into the ground,” said Rep. Biss. “But it also encourages the continued rapid growth of the e-recycling industry, supporting small businesses around the state that have created thousands of new jobs in recent years.”

The new law also increases recycling goals for Illinois manufacturers. For example, in 2012 manufacturers will be required to recycle 40 percent of the products they sold in 2010. According to the Environmental Law & Policy Center, the new goals mean that statewide e-recycling will increase from 28 million pounds in 2011 to over 50 million pounds in 2012. The dramatic increase in recycling efforts is expected to create jobs for Illinois residents.

            “This legislation will keep toxins out of our air and water while conserving valuable resources and creating jobs,” said Melville Nickerson, Policy Advocate for the Environmental Law & Policy Center. “The Environmental Law & Policy Center looks forward to working together with manufacturers to implement this recycling bill and create a cleaner environment in Illinois."

The fine for violations of the new law will increase $1,000 to $7,000. It also gives the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency greater regulatory authority for violations of the act. Additionally, the bill requires manufacturers to maintain consumer education programs designed to inform customers of proper disposal policies for electronic products. The new law takes effect immediately.

Governor Quinn also signed House Bill 2001, sponsored by Rep. Ann Williams (D-Chicago) and Sen. John Millner (R-Carol Stream), which strengthens penalties for criminal disposal of waste. The law, which takes effect immediately, reclassifies the initial and all subsequent violations as felonies, lowers the violation threshold and increases fines to $25,000, up from $5,000.