Disgruntledpatriot's Blog

March 18, 2010

They say it’s to help, but recycling law is shutting down small business!

Illinois passed a law a couple of years ago that went totally under the radar.  It was initially called Illinois Senate Bill 2313, but was twisted and reformed into Public Act 095-0959.  It claims to help keep TVs, Computers, and other ‘toxic’ electronics out of landfills.  That sounds like a good idea, but it isn’t exactly as sold.  In reality it is a huge tax and penalty law that forces manufacturers and retailers to register with the state, pay fees, and offer more services.  It isn’t incentive that helps, it is punishment that kills business.  Worse yet, it kills small business, and that is a fact I will show after my obligatory statement that I am not evil.

Obligatory statement that I am not evil:

I think recycling is great, as a matter of fact I am the only one on my street with TWO red recycling buckets and regularly fills them up every week.  I advocate a European law that says you pay your garbage bill based on weight, but recycling is free (yes that means the more you recycle the less your garbage bill is).  I get pissed off that my town doesn’t take glass anymore.  I think everyone should do it, but just because I think that doesn’t mean I can go to my neighbors without red buckets and force them to recycle.  It has shown time and time again that results are better had with incentives than taxes.

Now, back to the diatribe.  Why don’t I like this law?  The spirit (and spirit only) is great.  Manufacturers and retailers getting together to educate the public on recycling, offer recycling options, and the like.  That sounds great.  The flip side though, is those same manufacturers and retailers are forced to pay fees, and fines if people don’t recycle.  Essentially they are being punished because the public is too lazy to take their old TV to be recycled and instead throws it in the garbage.  Granted these businesses have the money, but on top of all the other fines, fees, penalties, and taxes that are in place and are coming in future legislation, eventually Illinois could turn into Michigan with businesses flocking away instead of toward.

Now, how it kills business.  Section 50 in the public act says that recyclers must register and pay $2000 a year adjusted by inflation. Now this may not be much for a huge recycling company that takes in tons of material and sells off the useful by-product, but for small refurbishers like the Computer Recycler in Peoria that is a huge fee. As a matter of fact I have it from a reliable source that in order to meet that bill they would have to sell 55 refurbished computers. That’s just to pay the fee, before they start making any money on them. That has caused this business to change from recycling old computers to building new ones. So, instead of those old machines getting a second go-around, they will go to the recycler and become who-knows-what. I hope that the CR survives in the demanding market of custom PC sales.

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