By DEBORAH GERTZ HUSAR
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
PITTSFIELD, Ill. -- A new partnership in Pike County hopes to make it easier for people to recycle electronic items.
Beginning this month, Access Illinois Outdoors and the city of Pittsfield will provide a drop-off location for electronics at the city's maintenance building. The site will be open 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Alderman Ed Knight hopes the new program will ease ongoing concerns countywide with disposing of electronic items which have been turning up in "unexpected places" like under bridges and in the city's refuse pile designed for yard waste.
"We have a city cleanup once a year, but when people get ready to get rid of something, they don't want to wait six months, 12 months for the cleanup to come around," Knight said. "We felt like we needed to make an effort to assist our constituents to have a place to go with some of their stuff."
Brenda Middendorf with Access Illinois Outdoors, a program operated through Two Rivers Resource Conservation and Development Area, said a change in state law prohibiting placing electronic items in landfills spurred the partnership discussion.
"It's become an ever-increasing problem for communities in proper disposal," Middendorf said. "We want to educate citizens about this effort to reclaim the electronic items and dispose of them properly instead of having them thrown somewhere which creates another problem for somebody."
Access Illinois will provide signage and advertising for the program.
"I think it will be a really good collaboration," Middendorf said.
Along with the drop-off site, Access Illinois also will continue to schedule two one-day community drop-off events per year.
Middendorf said the next scheduled collection event will be Saturday, April 13. Local FFA members will help unload items at the community event and load them onto a semi, and Access Illinois will get $300 per semi load from a salvage contractor.
"We may need to bring a truck down before April 13," Middendorf said. "It just depends what the demand is."
The partnership agreement covers one year and is renewable.
Knight hopes the program will be a success.
"With the way we're managing it at the city's maintenance location, it's a secure location when it's not open," Knight said. "I think it's going to help us. I hope people will use it."
WHAT'S NOT ACCEPTED
A new partnership between Access Illinois and the city of Pittsfield will provide a drop-off site for electronics recycling.
Items that are not accepted are:
º Smoke detectors
º Alkaline batteries
º Hazard waste, such as broken glass
º Equipment with PCB's
º Light bulbs
º Fluorescent tubes
º Mercury-containing devices
º Projection televisions
º Wooden console televisions
Appliances will be accepted only on the two advertised drop-off dates, and there will be a $25 fee for each item containing freon.