Illinois House in the United States has passed Senate Bill 2016, which forces manufacturers to be responsible for the recycling of their own products, including televisions. While old cell phones can be recycled through companies such as SellCell, many consumers are unaware of how to go about recycling bulkier items such as televisions, which contain dangerous toxins such as lead and mercury and can be hazardous to both the environment and to human health.
“Its ultimate effect will be to increase the amount of electronic waste that’s recycled, therefore decreasing the amount which winds up in the environment,” says Rep Daniel Biss (D-Evanston), who sponsored the legislation that will replace the current Electronic Products Recycling and Reuse Act, which he claims was “just not working”. Biss says that cutting down on the amount of electrical waste, including used cell phones, is vital. “It’s important to keep these toxins out of the groundwater,” he notes. “They can cause cancer and neurological disease.”
Elizabeth Porporato from Citizens’ Greener Evanston says the bill will also help to educate the public about the need for the recycling of old cell phones and other electronic items. “Waste really is a problem – first for the soil and then for the water,” she claims. “When we don’t recycle waste in the right way, we’ll have the consequences for thousands of years.”
While the bill has yet to be made law, Biss is confident that it will be. “Given the governor’s history on environmental issues, I’m not too concerned,” he admits.