JOLIET – The village of Romeoville is officially the latest entity on board with the Will County Land Use Department’s revived electronics recycling program after the Will County Board approved last week an intergovernmental agreement.
The County Board approved agreements in June with the village of Peotone and New Lenox Township for the two government bodies to host electronic drop-off events twice a month. Lockport was the first municipality back on board in March for electronics recycling in the county after the county’s longtime recycling vendor exited its contract prematurely.
The county had 13 drop-off locations before the ending of the agreement, and Romeoville was one of those. A small change however, this time, is the location. Electronics formerly were collected at the village’s emergency management building, but the village public works facility at 615 Anderson Drive, off of Route 53, now will play host.
Romeoville Mayor John Noak said July 11 the village is excited to partner with the county, which is finding creative ways to provide an important service – cost-efficient electronics recycling. The official dates and times for collections have not yet been released.
Will County Resource Recovery and Energy Division recycling specialist Marta Keane said the addition of Romeoville to the collection schedule is a sign the new program is working well, and there might be one more municipality to join before the end of the year.
Keane said the city of Joliet has discussed at meetings whether to join in and potentially provide some of the funding for recycling events in partnering with the county.
“[Joliet] could be the next, and maybe last of the year, to join,” Keane said.
Currently, the Lockport event is the most costly, as well as labor and time intensive, Keane said. But Joliet is the largest municipality in the county.
Several other municipalities have expressed interest in joining the program, Keane said, but due to the county’s budget constraints, more may not be added until the next fiscal year. She explained this program wasn’t worked into the current year’s budget after the former vendor left.
“This happened after our budget went through,” Keane said. “So we’ve been trying to scrape funds together for these recycling events. The only hindrance to expanding is our budget.”
The department contracted with a third-party vendor to collect the electronics in semi-trailers. Then, the old technology eventually makes its way to a recycling center in Indiana. Keane estimated it will cost the county between $5,000 and $7,000, for each location, for the rest of the year. This includes staffing the events and hauling the materials.