Illinois Gov. signed an executive order requiring state government to begin recycling computers, cell phones and other electronics, AP reports.
The move is intended to keep discarded electronics from leaking mercury and lead into landfills.
Illinois is now the first state in the Midwest to adopt guidelines to deal with e-scrap.
The governor also urged the legislature to adopt a statewide law requiring that everyone recycle outdated or broken electronic gear rather than throwing it in the trash, which is now legal for homeowners in Illinois.
"It's literally a mounting problem. Our ability to manage this equipment is creating a growing health threat and environmental threat," said Ron Burke, assistant director of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.