Murrel. Org Updated 6/22/2006  

  Peoria Group Aids Students
  Drive to collect used electronics for low-income area families

By Steve Tarter of the Journal Star
Tuesday, October 18, 2005

PEORIA - The 16,000 square-foot warehouse at 401 NE Rock Island Avenue is piled high with computers and televisions - all used.

It's the place where Recycling for Illinois, a not-for-profit recycling company, seeks to stem the tide of an onrushing sea of electronic appliances.

We live in a disposable society. People always want the latest and greatest, courtesy of the marketing departments," said Michael Hodge, RFI executive director, pointing to stacks of battered appliances, shrink-wrapped on wooden pallets, amid hulking cardboard bins of computer parts.

And we're disposing at a frightening rate.

Electronic waste has been growing rapidly along with our technology habit. E-waste makes up the fastest growing segment of the municipal solid waste stream and it's expected to double in five years, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Also rising is the frequency with which people exchange one gadget for another. "The typical homeowner gets a new computer every year. We've had computers in here that were still under warranty. They could have been fixed for free," said Hodge.

While the sale of electronic items grows, the life cycle of these products continues to get shorter, he said.