Kane County electronics recycling program gaining momentum
After a tumultuous year for Kane County's electronics recycling program, officials believe their new and improved system has become somewhat of a success story.
From when the program relaunched mid-September to the end of November, the daily drop-off sites in Batavia, South Elgin and West Dundee collected 109,778 pounds of electronic materials from 1,424 residents, said Jennifer Jarland, the county's recycling program coordinator. And the county has secured funding to move forward with the program next year.
The county suspended its program earlier this year after it received overwhelming volumes of electronics and several satellite collection locations shut down. When the program was rebooted a few months later, recycling nonprofit eWorks Electronics Services agreed to staff and monitor each daily drop-off site, and to provide supplies and trailers.
The company also began charging customers $25 for TVs and monitors with screens up to 20 inches and $35 for those 21 inches or more. All other electronics can be dropped off for free.
So far, the Batavia site at the former Kane County jail, 517 Fabyan Parkway, has been the most successful with 943 visitors dropping off 73,884 total pounds of material.
The other two collection sites have seen significantly less traffic, likely because they're located off the beaten path or because residents are unaware the program restarted, Jarland said. Visitors have dropped off 14,194 pounds of electronics at South Elgin's site, 735 Martin Drive, and 21,700 pounds at the West Dundee location, 900 Angle Tarn.
"We're doing a push for outreach, trying to get the word out there about the other two locations," she said. "To make them viable for our electronics recycling contractor, we really do need to get those numbers up."
The efforts by the county and participating municipalities to better promote the program appear to be working. As of Nov. 14, 172 residents had visited the South Elgin location, and 110 visited West Dundee's site. Just two weeks later, those numbers rose to 274 in South Elgin and 207 in West Dundee.
The county has allotted about $55,000 toward electronics recycling resources for next year, Jarland said, about $40,000 of which comes from riverboat gambling revenue and an anticipated surplus in the existing budget. Those funds allow the county to conduct its periodic recycling events and reimburse South Elgin and West Dundee each $1,000 per month for their participation.
Program funding for 2018 and beyond will be decided at a later date and will likely depend on state legislature, Jarland said.
The three collection sites are open Monday to Friday, and the next recycling event is scheduled for 8 a.m. to noon Jan. 14 at 540 S. Randall Road, St. Charles. For more information, visit www.countyofkane.org/recycling.