Illinois Electronic Recycling Law Reform Looks More Promising

There have been some doubts in the minds of the Illinois people regarding scaling down of the electronics recycling program across the state. In a related incident, Will County had announced in the month of January that it would be reducing the number of collection events to two events per day from the existing six events. Due to such actions, some environmental experts felt that there would be a drastic cut in funding programs that serve the Illinois electronic recycling program.

Now electronic manufacturers and the state law makers are trying to arrive at a middle ground that will help in maintaining the funding levels associated with these recycling programs. The lawmakers have introduced House Bill 1455 in Springfield that allows modifications in the formula used for calculating the program funding amount. This formula is usually used by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to arrive at the funding amount needed for running the in-demand electronics recycling program. The formula is useful for funding the percentage contribution to be made by the electronic component manufacturers in the state.

Budget Shortfall

The shortfall in funding was actually brought to the notice of government officials towards the end of last year. This information was shared by Dean Olson, who heads the Will County’s resource recovery and energy division. As per the current agreement, the manufacturers contribution to the funding program is based on the state set annual goals. Once the goals have been achieved the manufacturers no longer need to make any contributions. The state goals are arrived based on manufacturer’s recycling weight goals. Currently the recycling weight goal is set at 50% of the weight of electronic products sold by manufacturers. As per the proposed new goal that would be added as part of the house bill, the recycling weight goal would be increased to 80% of the weight of electronic products sold by manufacturers.

80% Electronics Weight Goal Agreed?

As per the current agreement, once the manufacturers reach their 50% goal they would stop their contribution. This would result in a funding shortfall, resulting in the local government passing on the burden to the public in order to compensate for it. Olson also revealed that he and other fellow local governing members in Illinois had actually suggested the weight goal to be increased to 100%. But the representatives from the Illinois Electronics Manufacturers Association were not in the favor of the steep hike from 50% to 100%. Both parties then sat over the table and arrived at a compromise goal value of 80% of the weight of the electronics products sold. Some lobbyists feel that the bill might undergo further modifications as the manufacturers are planning to include more of their ideas in the future.

Private Waste Management Service Provider Overhaul

Olson also revealed another development related to the hauling service providers such as the county’s waste management service providers. According to the proposed amendment the hauling service providers would be given the liberty to charge homeowners if the homeowners decide to dispose the electronic waste using their own electronic recycling company. The handling of the electronic waste would be transferred to the electronic recycling company referred to the homeowner from the county’s waste management division.

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