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An Illinois River Almanac

Jason Haupt's Energy and Environment Blog

Disposal of Electrical Items


If you have bought light bulbs recently, you probably saw a dizzying array of choices. For many there is a great deal of confusion on what to choose, how to choose, and which light is right for you. If you would like more info on choosing a light bulb, please read An Illinois River Almanac blog at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/fmpt/eb322/entry_10414/. Two posts have been written on the subject. But have you thought about what to do with the bulb after it has burnt out? Disposing of them is not as easy as simply throwing them away in the trash.

In fact when you upgrade your electronics, you should consider what to do with your old electronics. Here are a few things to think about before you put your "curly cue" lightbulbs in the trash or your old TV on the curb.

  • Light bulbs- The new types of light bulbs need to be disposed of in the proper way. For Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL), you should take them to a disposal center. They should not be put in the trash. Most "big box" stores have a place at the front of the store to put these bulbs. CFLs contain heavy metals and can cause contamination of disposal sites if they are not properly disposed. Also some of the materials that are in the CFLs can be recycled further, reducing the impact that these lights have on the environment. For LED lights, the same rules should be followed. These lights have a lot of electronics in them and many of the components can be recycled.
  • Old TVs and Computer Monitors- Old TVs and CRT Computer monitors (the big heavy ones) should also not just be thrown away. These electronics have lead and some other heavy metals in them that need to be removed before they can be disposed. There are a couple of options for properly disposing of these old screens. Best Buy will take TVs and CRT monitors for recycling and proper disposal. They will take CRT monitors and TVs up to 32". In Peoria electronics can be dropped off at Kuusakoski Recycling. You can drop off electronics Monday through Friday, 7 am-3 pm. For a complete list of materials that they accept, visit http://kuusakoski.us/recycling-services/things-we-recycle/.
  • Batteries- Batteries should also not just be thrown away. Rechargeable batteries can be taken to your local Best Buy and all batteries can be taken to your local battery store for disposal.
  • Large appliances- For large appliance disposal, there are a couple of options to consider. The first is to see if the store where you bought your new appliance will haul the old one away. This is the easiest option. Donating appliances that are still in good working order is an excellent option to keep some of these items from ending up in any form in landfills. For those of you who have Ameren Illinois and want to get rid of an old refrigerator, Ameren will remove an old inefficient refrigerator and give you $50.

There are many other options for recycling a great deal of the materials that you use every day. To learn where you can recycle your materials, visit http://recyclenation.com/ to find a drop off location near you. For more information on recycling, please contact Jason Haupt (jdhaupt@illinois.edu).



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