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Illinois Mandates Recycling of Government Electronics



Illinois is the first state in the Midwest to implement electronics recycling policies. Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich signed an executive order on October 30, 2006, directing all state agencies, boards, and commissions to recycle or dispose of obsolete electronic equipment – including computers, fax and copy machines, cellular phones and other “e-scrap” – in an environmentally responsible manner. Electronics might contain toxic chemicals, such as mercury, lead, cadmium and beryllium, which can be released into the environment if they are disposed of improperly.


Illinois is the first state in the Midwest to implement electronics recycling policies. Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich signed an executive order on October 30, 2006, directing all state agencies, boards, and commissions to recycle or dispose of obsolete electronic equipment – including computers, fax and copy machines, cellular phones and other “e-scrap” – in an environmentally responsible manner. Electronics might contain toxic chemicals, such as mercury, lead, cadmium and beryllium, which can be released into the environment if they are disposed of improperly.

The order comes after research and recommendations from the Computer Equipment Disposal and Recycling Commission that was established as a result of legislation the Governor signed into law in August 2005.

Of the 57,000 employees that work in agencies or on boards or commissions under the governor, about 55,000 people use a computer for their day-to-day work. This order requires responsible disposal as state agencies find it necessary to upgrade and replace equipment every three to five years. The order also will affect the disposal of thousands of fax and photocopy machines, cellular phones and personal digital assistants that are upgraded or replaced each year.

The Illinois Department of Central Management Services receives surplus electronic and other equipment from state agencies. The electronics now will be transferred to a vendor that will ensure proper refurbishment, resale or disposal. Equipment that can be refurbished will be redistributed into Illinois government or made available to schools or local government entities. Electronics that maintain a resale value will be sold through the state’s ongoing public auction process. If items fail to sell, the vendor will recycle glass, plastics and metals, while chemical components will be disposed of using approved techniques.

Blagojevich encouraged members of the Illinois General Assembly to consider findings from the Computer Equipment Disposal and Recycling Commission and develop statewide electronic recycling legislation when it convenes next January. If the assembly passes legislation next spring, Illinois could become the fifth state in the nation to enact similar environmentally responsible guidelines statewide.




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  posted on 11/2/2006   Article Use Policy




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