Recycling program for electronics offered to Tazewell County residents

Holly Richrath

Recycling paper, plastic, glass and metal is common practice, but central Illinois residents will soon have the chance to add another group of materials to the list of recyclables — electronics.

The Tazewell County Health Department has teamed with Creative Recycling and the city of East Peoria to offer a free electronics collection event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 30 at the Festival Building.

“One of the things we’re trying to do is reduce the amount of trash that goes into the landfill,” said Sara Sparkman, community relations manager at the Tazewell County Health Department. “Obviously electronics will not decompose. They’ll be there forever.”

Many electronics contain hazardous materials that can harm the environment if not properly disposed of.

Recycling, Sparkman said, is the answer.

Electronics that will be accepted at the collection include computer parts, cellphones, radios, electronic games, printers, VCRs, microwaves, fax machines, television sets and rechargeable batteries. 

Light bulbs and appliances like washers, driers and refrigerators will not be accepted.

Sparkman said that although the health department would like to host electronic recycling collection events annually, the funding to do so is not available.

“People are always calling and asking for places to recycle TVs and get rid of their computers,” she said. “Usually what we ask people to do is hold on to them and wait until there is a collection.”

Sparkman said that once collected, items are repurposed, reused or broken down for parts.

Sparkman said there was a big turnout at the health department’s last collection two years ago.

“We do receive a lot of materials to be recycled when we do host these events,” she said. “So people are concerned about putting items like these into the landfills; they’d rather make sure they are used again.”

“We’re excited about the opportunity and hope people come out and take advantage of it.” 

For more information, call the Tazewell County Health Department at 925-5511.