Goose Island site also takes cell phones, batteries
November 19, 2006
BY DAVE NEWBART
With the holiday season approaching, one growing by-product of the technological age will no doubt pose a problem to many: after unwrapping a new computer or other cool electronic gadget, what do you do with the old one?
The city has an answer for you.
On Saturday, Mayor Daley presided over a ribbon-cutting for the city's first permanent computer recycling center.
The 24,000-square-foot facility on Goose Island will be open year-round for residents to drop off their old computers, cell phones, televisions, batteries and other electronics. The center also will accept household chemicals, including motor oil, gasoline, oil-based paints, pesticides, lawn chemicals, cleaning products and other materials.
Safeguards for old data
"This facility will ultimately protect our land and water resources so that we can conserve Chicago together for generations to come,'' Daley said.
Where possible, computers will be refurbished and donated to schools, churches, nonprofits and low-income families. Components and other materials will be recycled for reuse.
The computer work will be done by ex-offenders. Willie Cade, president of Computers for Schools, a nonprofit group which will oversee the refurbishing, said they have many safeguards in place to make sure hard drives are wiped clean of confidential data before they are worked on. The group keeps an audit trail of all work done.
Materials can be dropped off at the center at 1150 N. Branch from 7 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays, 2 to 7 p.m. Thursdays and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the first Saturday of every month. Old batteries also can be dropped off at Walgreens stores and public libraries.