January 17, 2012

Aurora: Many Ways to Recycle Electronics


By Stephanie Lulay

AURORA — Aurora’s free electronics recycling program takes on even greater importance this year, as a new state law bans disposing of electronics in landfills.


Aurora has offered free electronics recycling since 2010. And this year, the city’s recycling program has been expanded to year-round, with twice-monthly collection events at the city’s Customer Service Center, 3770 McCoy Drive, and Central Garage facility, 720 N. Broadway Ave.


As part of the 2008 Illinois Electronic Products Recycling Act, the state’s new ban aims to prevent hazardous substances like lead and mercury from entering landfills. The ban went into effect Jan. 1.


The city recycling program collects monitors, computers, laptops, televisions, printers, fax machines, scanners, computer accessories, video game consoles, telephones, answering machines, cell phones, personal digital assistants, mp3 players, cameras, camcorders, servers, DVD players, stereos and VCRs.


Microwaves are the only kitchen appliance that can be recycled. Large appliances, including air conditioners, stoves, refrigerators, freezers; and smaller appliances, including toasters and coffee makers; and household hazardous waste materials will not be accepted, according to city spokesman Kevin Stahr.


Recycling drop-off will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on a series of Saturdays: at the Customer Service Center on Jan. 21, Feb. 4, March 10, April 14, May 12, June 2, July 14, Aug. 11, Sept. 8, Oct. 6, Nov. 3 and Dec. 8; and at the Central Garage on Feb. 18, March 24, April 28, May 19, June 16, July 28, Aug. 25, Sept. 22, Oct. 20, Nov. 17 and Dec. 15.


Vintage Tech Recyclers, the city’s vendor, also offers front-door collection to Aurora residents by appointment. The vendor allows a maximum of 10 items per pickup.


Appointments can be scheduled by calling 630-305-0922 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Residents must have a front door on the ground level, and electronics should be placed at the front door before 7 a.m. on the scheduled collection day. Residents will be asked to provide their name, address, phone number and item count for collection.


Vintage Tech Recyclers also has partnered with the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, 4100 Fox Valley Center, and the Community Thrift Store, 315 E. Indian Trail, to offer collection sites throughout the year. Electronics can be dropped off between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Items can be dropped off at the Community Thrift Store between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.


The city collected about 30,000 pounds on average during each of its 17 drop-off events in 2011.


Stahr said there is no cost to the city to provide electronics recycling through Vintage Tech Recyclers.


According to the Illinois law, residents caught tossing out banned electronics could be fine $25. Haulers or landfill operators that allow the banned items can be fined $500.