Peoria Journal Star reports on Sunday ATR’s E-waste drive on July 25, 2015
• Tyler Davis
Journal Star news reporter
Posted Jul. 25, 2015 at 8:12 PM
Updated Jul 25, 2015 at 9:42 PM
PEORIA — Hundreds of area residents were able to get rid of unwanted waste in an environmentally friendly manner Saturday.
The Tireless Project had its fourth tire collection of the year at 2301 S. Darst St., and Ameren Illinois teamed up with the Peoria County Sustainability and Resources Conservation office and Advanced Technology Recycling at the Illinois Central College North Campus to collect unwanted electronics.
With the Tireless Project’s help, Peoria Disposal Company has received more than 7,000 tires this year. Kathy Burdette, a Tireless Project member, said the tires usually end up in lots or on the streets when people don’t know how to dispose of them.
“Once we are done for the year, we are going to go to different neighborhood alliances and say, ‘Have you guys noticed a decrease of tires?’” said fellow Tireless Project member Julie Eliathamby. Eliathamby said the service, which was for Peoria residents only, costs nothing to taxpayers.
Lavetta Ricca, who has lived in South Peoria for 77 years, said there is a difference in her neighborhood’s appearance since the Tireless Project came earlier this year.
“It seems like we grow tires down here. People come in the night and dump them,” she said. “Now there’s not near as many tires around in the neighborhood, which is a plus for us.”
Ann Bare, another volunteer with the Tireless Project, said some residents of other municipalities were upset they could not drop off their waste.
“Four volunteer women cannot take care of the tires for the entire Tri-County Area,” Bare said. The women also had the aid of men who were completing community service hours.
Members of the Tireless Project encouraged people from other areas to go to their city councils and discuss ways they can dispose of the rubber waste.
Additional tire donation events are to be held in August and September. Volunteers or interested people can visit the Tireless Project Facebook page or contact Eliathamby at (309) 472-6560.
Just a few miles north, another collection was taking place. Televisions from the ’70s and computers from the ’90s were dropped off and stacked at the ICC North parking lot, 5407 N. University St.
Karen Raithel of the Peoria County Sustainability and Resource Conservation office said the old technology would be stripped by Advanced Technology Recycling and the materials would be either recycled or resold if they cannot be recycled.
Nearly 450 vehicles, each with 10 or fewer items, were at the collection.
“We are educating our residents that electronics cannot be put or thrown away into our landfills,” Raithel said. “This is a good opportunity to let people dispose of these things in proper fashion and educate them about (ATR’s services).”
Ameren Illinois helped the county organization pay for ATR to do the collection. Tucker Kennedy, communications director for Ameren Illinois, said the effort was a part of Ameren Cares.
“We have a very strong energy-efficiency program, which helps people use less energy and helps the environment,” he said. “This is a natural fit for us, to provide some resources to help the county put the event on and help people be more sustainable.”
Ray Magee, business development manager for ATR, said his company does nearly 50 collection events per year.
“We take the data-bearing devices, and make sure all of that is either shredded or wiped from the hard drive,” he said. “Then we make sure none of the other materials end up in landfills or is exported overseas. We handle everything domestically.”
Raithel said she hopes the event can become annual and encouraged those who missed the collection to visit Advanced Technology Recycling at 8202 N. University St. to learn more about electronics recycling.