Recycling Fair to place emphasis on electronics

Cathaleen Qiao Chen

Evanston will host its annual Recycling Fair and Equipment Expo Sunday, in the parking lot of Evanston Township High School.

The fair will allow residents to recycle an assortment of products, including plastic bags, batteries and light bulbs, all at the same location. This year, the event will also offer an outlet for electronic recycling.

“Our big focus this year is on electronics, because of the new Illinois law that bans throwing away electronic devices,” said Eric Palmer, the community information coordinator for the City Manager’s office.

The Electronic Products Recycling and Reuse Act, enacted Jan. 1 of this year, requires residents to recycle all unwanted televisions, computers and other devices instead of disposing them as trash. The statute will prevent pollution and contamination of natural resources.

“We just want to make things easier for people in Evanston,” Palmer said. “We also want to educate them about what can be recycled and what can’t be.”

Another new aspect this year is the fair’s partnership with Westminster Place to collect plastic bags, which will be used to make sleeping mats for the homeless, Palmer said. Westminster Place, a local retirement community, has collected more than 300,000 plastic shopping bags thus far for the project.

As an effort to detour people from using more plastic bags and then throwing them away, the city will be giving 750 free reusable shopping bags at the fair.

In addition to providing residents the opportunity to recycle many different products, the fair will also include games for kids and space for vendors, city organizations and businesses.

“Our goal is to be as convenient as possible, but we’re always trying to move forward and come up with more recycling plans for the city,” Palmer said.

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