If you are a typical consumer, you have a house or apartment filled with electronics. You are using some of these on a daily basis. Others are broken or out of date. You know you’re not supposed to just throw them into the garbage can or put them at the curb. You know it is illegal to dump them at the side of a road or in a farm field. What can you do with them?

Because of the constant improvements in technology, electronics are the largest growing segment of the waste stream. Some of these devices contain rare materials which can be reused in manufacturing. Therefore, it makes sense to recycle.

Below is a list of electronics that can be recycled:

    • Laptops
    • Televisions and monitors
    • Cell phones
    • Camcorders
    • Cameras and camcorders
    • Gaming consoles
    • MP3 Players
    • PDAs
    • Peripherals (printers, keyboards, etc.)
    • Phones and answering machines
    • Stereos
    • VCRs and DVD players

Some cities, such as the City of Aurora, hold regular drop-off events for residents to dispose of their electronics. A recent drop-off event had two new features: (1) There was no charge for up to two screens (computers or televisions) instead of $25 or $35 per screen regular price. Three other items could be added at no cost. (2) Residents were required to make appointments to drop-off their items. Appointments were scheduled in blocks of an hour (e.g., 10:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M.). This spread out the traffic and prevented long lines from forming.

Counties, including Kane County and DuPage County, often have electronics recycling programs. For example, Kane County has both weekday drop-offs and a monthly event. Staff will help you unload your items, take your fees, and give you a tax deduction receipt. In Kane County, televisions and monitors cost $25 (under 21” measured diagonally) or $35 (21” or over). Check with your own county for drop-off dates, locations, and fees.

Many electronics stores offer recycling for free (with the purchase of a new item) or for a fee. Check online for the store’s policy.

—By Karen Centowski

To see a video How Computers and Electronics Are Recycled (SIMS Recycling Solutions), go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iw4g6H7alvo 


When you are searching for private duty nursing care for a child or an adult, look for an agency that is accredited by the Joint Commission. What is the Joint Commission? Why is that important to your child or adult family member?

The Joint Commission is an independent, not-for-profit organization which accredits nearly 21,000 health care programs and organizations in the United States. Joint Commission accreditation and certification of an organization is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality. In addition, according to www.en.wikipedia, “A majority of U.S. state governments recognize Joint Commission accreditation as a condition of licensure for the receipt of Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements.”

To be accredited by Joint Commission, a healthcare agency must undergo a rigorous examination of its operation. This includes a review of written policies and procedures, job descriptions for all positions, safety protocols, and much more. The agency’s staff spend a significant amount of time preparing for this initial examination, and the agency incurs considerable expense.

The surveyors, who are salaried employees of the Joint Commission, spend several days at the physical location of the healthcare agency. They determine if the agency meets the healthcare standards of the Joint Commission. If the agency is deficient, it must correct the situations before it can be accredited by the Joint Commission.

After the initial certification is awarded, the agency is put on a three-year accreditation cycle. Surveyors from the Joint Commission visit the agency, review staff personnel files, examine client charts, read nursing notes, and meet with staff. They also make site visits to the homes of clients selected by the surveyors. If the agency fails to meet the standards of the Joint Commission, it must remedy the deficiencies or lose its accreditation.

Beginning on January 1, 2006, the Joint Commission began making unannounced surveys. “Unannounced” means the organization does not receive advance notice of its survey date. This concept of the “unannounced visit” forces JC organizations to maintain a standard of excellence in their operations every day. It requires JC organizations to update their policies and procedures on a regular basis.

American Home Health is accredited by the Joint Commission. Our focus upon patient safety and quality of care aligns with the goals of the Joint Commission. When you are seeking private duty nursing care for a child or adult, look for an agency accredited by the Joint Commission. It is the gold standard in the healthcare field.

—By Karen Centowski