Illinois e-waste recycling bill signed into law

In an effort to drastically expand Illinois' recycling capability, Governor Pat Quinn recently signed into law Senate Bill 2106, which will require a wide range of consumer products to be diverted from local landfills to recycling centers across the state. The new law will give the Illinois EPA greater authority to enforce recycling laws and will fund many consumer education programs about the proper disposal of outdated electronics, according to The Herald-News.

"This bill not only prevents toxic substances from entering into the ground," Rep. Daniel Biss, one of the co-sponsors of the bill, told the news source. "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 will increase the amount of consumer electronics that can be recycled in the state. Currently, residents can properly dispose of computer monitors, televisions and printers, but the new law will also cover keyboards, music players, video game consoles, VCRs and other common household items. For those that violate the law and continue to dispose of these products in local landfills, the Illinois EPA can hand out violations between $1,000 and $7,000 to offenders.

As an added bonus, the bill also puts the onus on the manufacturers of these items. By 2012, the bill will require companies to recycle 40 percent of their products that were sold in 2010. While this is a boon for local recycling rates, it will also require these businesses to follow their products throughout their entire life cycle. This added incentive will force them to make electronics with sustainable materials, which in turn will make things easier on the consumers who buy the products.