Can Do Cover
Talkin' Trash Newsletter
Volume 18 Issue 2
Tri-County Resource & Waste Management Council

Providing recycling news for communities,
businesses and schools

In the Newsletter
Must Do Dates...
Where to Take Unwanted CFS, Meds and Batteries

Electronic Recycling - Where its' Been, Where its' Going 


Industry Changes Have Short Term Affect on TCRCF


With each issue of Talkin' Trash, the Tri-County Regional Collection Facility (TCRCF) has reported substantial increases in electronic recycling collections. The 2014 program year has seen that trend continue at a robust rate, with six straight months of record-breaking collections.   This trend is playing out all across the state and has caused some industry changes that will affect the TCRCF, at least in the short-term.


The massive volumes collected throughout the state have made weaknesses in the Illinois electronic recycling legislation apparent. The primary weakness is the formula used to calculate a manufacturer's recycling goal for a program year. Essentially, a manufacturer's recycling goal is 50% of the prior year's sales (by weight) statewide, with no financial penalty for anything over 70% of that goal. As should have been expected, those goals were easily met by television manufacturers in early August. Compounding the problem is the difference between newer, lighter, flat screen televisions and the much heavier cathode ray tube (CRT) televisions being recycled. Processors and collectors of electronics were notified, according to various agreements, that reimbursement for collection of these items would no longer be available for 2014. The cost to properly recycle the CRT glass used in televisions and monitors far exceeds the minimal value of metals used in each unit. Without the reimbursement from the manufacturer, the cost to recycle the glass is now passed along.


Reporting the circumstances of this issue has led to a rumor that the TCRCF is closing. This is not true. The situation is fluid at the moment, and there are several actions being taken that might address the problem in the short-term while a long-term solution is being worked out. Regardless, the TCRCF has the ability to adapt to whatever happens and continue providing services.


Why is CRT Glass Such a Problem?


The simple answer is that it contains lead and there are extraordinary quantities to contend with. The specific problem, however, is cost. Currently, there are four North American processors that can meet the R2 and e-Stewards certifications for responsible recycling of CRT glass, only one of which is located in the United States. These processors maintain that they still have processing capacity remaining, but circumstantial evidence suggests that the remaining capacity comes at a prohibitive cost. There have been reports all across the nation of CRT stockpiling. Shipping and processing costs were stated factors in many of those instances. Without the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) credits provided by state law, those processing costs become even more prohibitive.


That leads to the next part of the problem. In order to secure those credits, the processors must meet the R2 or e-Stewards standard for electronic recycling. With CRT glass, that means reuse in a downstream product. The most common downstream use of CRT glass has traditionally been...more CRT glass. Production of new CRT televisions has ceased in the United States, and is in the process of disappearing world-wide. Other innovative uses for CRT glass exist, but nothing that can meet the quantity needs as currently projected. National estimates predict that the CRT problem will persist for another 10 years. Our program history suggests it will probably improve in the next three to five years, but persist as a problem for a much longer time.

What Are the Concerns for the Tri-County Area?


First and foremost, maintaining the ability to accept televisions as a component of our service is of paramount importance. With the January 2012 landfill ban on electronic waste, CRT televisions & monitors became the Tri-County Regional Collection Facility's (TCRCF) largest recycling item by a wide margin. These CRT items account for nearly 75% of all electronics and 60% of all materials handled by the TCRCF. With TCRCF total collection projections for 2014 hovering around one million pounds, where does that 600 thousand pounds per year go if we cannot afford to accept it? See the picture taken at a stream crossing from Hale Township, Warren County, Illinois in November 2006 as one possible scenario repeated throughout the region, though admittedly and thankfully, only by a few.


The other concern is that we are a rural collection system. In the short term, we are likely to struggle with that distinction since the goal weights for manufacturers are set so low. There is no need for processors and large collectors to work outside of the urbanized areas of the state, which makes the rural credit that currently exists in the legislation worthless. Any long term 'fix' to the electronic legislation needs to include a more direct incentive or mandate for rural recycling.


What Can You Do to Help?


If you feel strongly about properly managing our waste streams, and believe that responsible recycling should also make financial sense, then please contact R2 and e-Stewards. Encourage them to recognize that other methods for treatment and proper disposal of the hazardous CRT glass, recovery and reuse of the remaining scrap, precious metals and plastics, is still responsible recycling of the original product.


Also, contact your elected officials. They require feedback from their constituents to make informed decisions. The most impactful message you can send is a personalized letter or email, especially for state legislators.


Senator John M. Sullivan (D) - 47th District

Springfield Office:

Senator 47th District

417C Capitol  Building

Springfield, IL 62706

(217) 782-2479

(217) 782-3088 (FAX)

District Office:

926 Broadway, Suite 6 

Quincy, IL 62301

(217) 222-2295

Macomb Office:

1601 W. Jackson St., Suite 105

Macomb, IL 61455

(309) 833-5526  


Representative Norine Hammond (R) - 93rd District

Springfield Office:

213-N Stratton Office Building

Springfield, IL 62706

(217) 782-0416

(217) 557-4530 (FAX)

District Office:

331 N. Lafayette Street

P. O. Box 170

Macomb, IL 61455

(309) 836-2707

(309) 836-2231 FAX 


Representative Jil Tracy (R)  - 94 District

Springfield Office:

207-N Stratton Office Building

Springfield, IL 62706

(217) 782-8096

(217) 558-3055 (FAX)

District Office:

3701 East Lake Centre Dr.

Suite 3

Quincy, IL 62305

(217) 223-0833

(217) 223-1565 FAX 


Representative Donald L. Moffitt (R) - 74th District 

Springfield Office:
217 N-Stratton Office Building Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8032
(217) 557-0179 (FAX)
District Office:

64 S. Prairie St., #5
Galesburg, IL 61401
(309) 343-8000
(309) 343-2683 FAX

Senator Darin M. LaHood (R) - 37th District
Springfield Office:
Senator 37th District
M103D Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-1942
(217) 782-9586 (FAX)
District Office:
5415 N. University, Suite 105
Peoria, IL 61614
(309) 693-4921
(309) 693-4923 FAX


E-Cycling & Paint Totals

It has been another busy program year! With 2014 rapidly passing us by, the Tri-County Regional Collection Facility (TCRCF) has continued to break its previous collection records. Projections indicate that the TCRCF will surpass the one million pound mark in total materials collected through the facility and its partner collection sites. That is approximately a 12% increase over total collections in 2013. As has been the case in previous years, the increase is powered by the massive volume of electronics banned from Illinois landfills effective as of January 2012. The following graph depicts electronics collected by weight and classification for the past five years.







The Tri-County Resource & Waste Management Council (TCR&WMC) represents and meets the solid waste management needs of incorporated and unincorporated communities in McDonough, Mercer, and Warren counties.  The council's Solid Waste Coordinator provides a comprehensive approach to solid waste issues.  For more information about the TCR&WMC, call 309-331-4782. 
TCR&WMC logo

November 17
January 26, 2015
Warren Co. Courthouse/Monmouth
7:00 pm

McDonough Co. Law & Legal Committee 
December 1
January 5, 2015
McDonough Co. Courthouse/Macomb
7:00 pm

Mercer Co. Board
December 2
January 6, 2015
Mercer Co.
  7:00 pm

 Mercer Co.
Recycling Board
November 6
January 29, 2015
CES Office/Aledo
7:00 pm 
Warren Co. Board 
December 13, 17 
Warren County 
 9:30 am 

January dates have not been officially scheduled.  

Fulton Co. Health Dept.

Hancock Co. Health Dept.

Henderson Co. Health Dept.

Knox Co. Health Dept.

McDonough Co. Health Dept.

Mercer Co. Health Dept.

Schuyler Co. Health Dept.

Warren Co. Health Dept.