A solution to a problem that has persisted too long seemingly has been found.
Last week, the Kankakee County Board finalized an agreement with Belson Steel Center in Bourbonnais to provide an e-waste recycling location for county residents. The program is projected to start at the beginning of March, and at that time, residents finally will have a consistent place to discard the old electronic items that have accumulated for years in many cases.
Without a stable program, people have had little choice but to let their old computers and small servers, computer monitors, televisions, printers, fax machines and scanners, DVD players, recorders and VCRs, video game consoles, digital converter boxes, cable and satellite receivers, electronic keyboards, electronic mice and portable music players gather dust in the basement or garage.
At least these folks didn’t pitch them into a ditch on the side of a road, an all-too-common practice county board member Steven Hunter mentioned when the contract was approved.
“One of the benefits is environmental in terms, hopefully, it will dissipate some of the dumping in the rural areas as well, too,” Hunter said.
The communities served by the Kankakee River Metropolitan Agency — Aroma Park, Bourbonnais, Bradley and Kankakee — will automatically be part of the program, as will Manteno.
The remaining 17 communities in the county can join in through an intergovernmental agreement. Board Chairman Andy Wheeler is busy pursuing those agreements, although some communities have opted out or shown reluctance to join.
While there is a rather minimal cost involved, it seems to be in the best interests of all to take part. The amount of electronic waste is only going to increase in the future, as will the need to get rid of it. The county is promoting the idea of appealing to your particular community if it chooses to opt out, and it’s an idea that makes sense.