Post-Holiday Recycling!

We hope you had a wonderful holiday season! For information regarding Christmas tree recycling, how to safely recycle old Christmas lights, and wrapping paper recycling, see below!

Wrapping paper

Most gift wrap is recyclable, except plastic wraps or metallic papers. All cardboard and paperboard packaging is also recyclable. Please reuse ribbons and bows or discard in the trash.  If you do not have curbside recycling where you live, you may utilize the Town of Normal’s drop-off locations.

Christmas trees

Residents of Bloomington and Normal enrolled in those municipalities’ waste collection programs may dispose of their real (non-artificial) Christmas tree by placing it at the curb for collection on your regularly scheduled waste collection day. As these trees will be chipped into mulch, please be sure to remove all ornaments, tinsel, lights, etc. Please do not put your tree or any other waste in the street.

For residents outside of Bloomington or Normal, please check with your local municipality for tree collection options. If you do not have tree collection service at your home or in your municipality, Twin City Wood Recycling will accept your tree for chipping into mulch at their facility at 1606 W Oakland Avenue in Bloomington at a cost of $2 per tree. Call (309) 827-9663 for more information and operating hours.

Christmas lights & other e-waste

Illinois law bans most consumer electronics from landfills–they must be recycled instead. Residents can recycle strings of Christmas lights, cords, and related electronic items, regardless of condition, at one of the many locations listed below.

Did Santa bring you a new TV? Note that only two local sites now accept the older tube-style CRT TVs and monitors for recycling. See “Items Accepted” for each of the e-waste recycling collection points below.

Location: Best Buy, 2103 N Veterans Pkwy Suite 200, Bloomington, 309-663-8090
Items Accepted: Computers, computer accessories, monitors, televisions up to 32″ (flatscreens up to 60″), all types of radios, VCRs, cameras, etc. Damaged or non-working items accepted. Customers are limited to bringing in 3 units per day per household.
Items Not Accepted: appliances, microwaves, TVs that are consoles, rear-projections, or DLPs or larger than 32″, items with freon such as air conditioners, dehumidifiers, refrigerators. No business generated waste.
Hours: Monday-Saturday 10:00 am-9:00 pm, Sunday 11:00 am-8:00 pm

Location: Home Sweet Home Warehouse Operations, 1700 W Washington St., Bloomington, 309-828-1530
Items Accepted: Computers, laptops, printers, fax, scanners, copiers, peripherals, phone systems, all types of radios, VCRs,
Microwaves, toaster ovens, hair dryers, curling irons, cash registers, cameras, blenders, and other small appliances. Damaged or non-working items accepted. All types of cell phones, pagers, PDAs and their chargers, cables, and headset accessories
All of the small computer accessories such as MP3 players, iPods, digital cameras, hand- held scanners, handheld games and other connected devices. All forms of electronic media and their cases: diskettes, zip disks, CDs, CD-Rs, CD-RWs, DVDs et al, game cartridges, DAT, DLT, and virtually all other type of computer tapes (ONLY at Mission Mart location)
Items Not Accepted: No CRT (tube-style) TVs or monitors, no VHS tapes or audio cassettes, no business-generated waste
Hours: Monday-Saturday 8:00 am-4:00 pm, 24 hour drop-off

Location: Habitat For Humanity ReStore, 1402 W Washington, Bloomington, 309-454-6047
Items Accepted: Computers, laptops, printers, fax, scanners, copiers, peripherals, phone systems, all types of radios, VCRs, Microwaves, toaster ovens, hair dryers, curling irons, cash registers, cameras, blenders, and other small appliances. Damaged or non-working items accepted. All forms of electronic media and their cases: diskettes, zip disks, CDs, CD-Rs, CD-RWs, DVDs et al, game cartridges, DAT, DLT, and virtually all other type of computer tapes. All forms of printer cartridges including both inkjet and toner. All types of cell phones, pagers, PDAs and their chargers, cables, and headset accessories. All of the small computer accessories such as MP3 players, iPods, digital cameras, hand- held scanners, handheld games and other connected devices.
Items Not Accepted: No CRT (tube-style) TVs or monitors, no VHS tapes or audio cassettes, no business generated waste
Hours: Tuesday-Friday 10:00 am-5:00 pm and Saturday from 9:00 am-4:00 pm

Location: Normal Public Works Garage, 1301 Warriner St., Normal, 309-454-9571
Items Accepted: Computers, laptops,televisions, monitors, printers, fax, scanners, copiers, peripherals, phone systems, all types of radios, VCRs, microwaves, toaster ovens, hair dryers, curling irons, cash registers, cameras, blenders, and other small appliances. Damaged or non-working items accepted.
All forms of electronic media: diskettes, zip disks, CDs, CD-Rs, CD-RWs, DVDs et al, game cartridges, DAT, DLT, and virtually all other type of computer tapes. All forms of printer cartridges including both inkjet and toner. All types of cell phones, pagers, PDAs and their chargers, cables, and headset accessories. All of the small computer accessories such as MP3 players, iPods, digital cameras, hand- held scanners, handheld games and other connected devices.
Items Not Accepted: No VHS tapes or audio cassettes, no business generated waste
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:00 am-2:30 pm; the first Saturday of every month 8:00 am-12:00 pm
Summer hours 6:00 am-1:30 pm (Memorial Day through Labor Day)

For more information on recycling, hazardous waste disposal, and more, you can always consult other sections of this or call us at 309-454-3169.

Local Food, Local Farms EDventure

Central Illinois has a booming local food movement. Experience three area farms through a Heartland Community College tour & tasting! The progressive meal begins at Ropp Dairy Farm with a tour and cheese-tasting, next we travel to Epiphany Farms for a tour and our main course. To complete our meal we head to Champaign for gelato and a tour at Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery. Come hungry and experience the bounty of Central Illinois. Your trip includes all transportation, food, tours and gratuities. Sorry, no refunds after June 17.

Friday, July 17, 10:30AM-6PM, Bloomington
$104
$94 early registration discount fee through 6/17

Yard Smart Garden Walk

Yard Smart

The Ecology Action Center announces its thirteenth annual Yard Smart Garden Walk on Saturday, June 27, 2015. This free tour highlights beautiful and functional yards that protect our environment while benefiting wildlife and use few or no synthetic chemicals.  The event features a plant and garden tool “Freecycle” Exchange. Bring garden plants or tools to give away—everything must be free.

Participants should bring their own lawn chairs and reusable water bottles for the lunch and presentation. The lunch is a zero waste event. Participants are encouraged to carpool during the tour to conserve fossil fuels and reduce pollution.

The Yard Smart program promotes a more sustainable and healthier approach to lawn and garden maintenance. Working with nature to build a healthier ecosystem in both the soil below ground and the yard above ground will produce a more beautiful, sustainable and safer environment for everyone— children and adults, pets and wildlife—by reducing pollutants that runoff into our local water supplies. The program encourages local homeowners to reduce the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, to conserve natural resources such as water and fossil fuels, and to make room for wildlife in their yards. Yard Smart Certification recognizes local homeowners who use ecologically sustainable practices in maintaining their yards and who realize that their lawn, garden and landscaping decisions affect the health of the whole community.

More information on the Yard Smart program as well as a set of free resource fact sheets is available at www.yardsmart.org.

 

ParkLands Foundation Family Day

Join a Heartland Community College EDventure at the ParkLands Foundation Merwin Nature Preserve in McLean County. Local experts Don Schmidt and Don Meyer will offer current and historical narratives about land use in the Mackinaw River watershed. Enjoy a guided tour of restored savanna, prairie and forested areas along the river. Discover the beauty and biological diversity of plants and animals native to Central Illinois. Learn how to find art in nature. All ages welcome. Your trip includes transportation to and from the preserve, snacks and refreshments. Call Julie Elzanati at (309) 268-8166 for more details.

Sunday June 7, 2015, 12:30-5PM
$10 (per person-no charge for children 14 and under, but they must register and be accompanied by a parent)
Online registration is not available for this program. Please call (309) 268-8160 to register.

Freecycle Free For All

freecycleWhen: Saturday, June 6, 9 am – noon

Items accepted for donation from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. only

 Where: White Oak Park picnic shelter, Bloomington

What: An in-person version of our always on-line McFreecycle service for placing unneeded stuff!

How: Bring unwanted items like toys, household items, clothing, books or other things you no longer need but someone else might want.   Then, browse items others have brought and take what you’ll use.  You are not required to drop off items in order to pick up new ones.  No appliances or large furniture, please.  Additionally, no firearms, animals, foods, medicines or other consumables are permitted. All items must be free, legal & appropriate for all ages.

Why: Freecycle is an online gifting exchange open to everyone who wants to find a new home for items that can still be used to keep them out of the landfill.

For more information call the EAC at 309-454-3169 x.12

Spring 2015 HHW Update

Successful Public-Private HHW Partnership Continues–Donations Critical For Fall 2015 Collection Event

Donate Now to the McLean County HHW Fund

Donate Now to the McLean County HHW Fund

While the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has announced that no state-funded HHW collection events will be held in the spring of 2015, McLean County residents will be able to plan for locally funded Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collection events in 2015 and 2017. Under a recent multi-year agreement, the Town of Normal, City of Bloomington, and McLean County will provide a significant portion of the funding for HHW collection events in the fall of 2015 and fall 2017. However, private contributions are critical to provide the remainder of the funding needed.

Raised $130 towards the $40,000 target.

The Ecology Action Center is now soliciting donations to the McLean County HHW Fund for a fall 2015 Household Hazardous Waste Collection for McLean County residents. As the EAC is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, contributions to the HHW Fund may be considered tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law. Donations may be made online or by mail.

As the designated solid waste agency for the local community, the EAC has traditionally coordinated HHW collection with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) with annual events funded by the state from 2003 through 2007. State funding became less reliable with the economic recession; despite an active application with the Illinois EPA, McLean County did not receive a state-sponsored event for six years after 2007.

In 2012, the EAC held a HHW collection for Bloomington-Normal and McLean County residents, funded entirely by local contributions. The EAC’s successful year-long HHW fundraising campaign resulted in $160,000 in public and private contributions including in-kind services; this unique funding strategy has resulted in multiple awards and recognition for the EAC, both locally and state-wide.

The EAC eventually was granted an IEPA-sponsored HHW collection in 2013. The significant turnout at both the 2012 and 2013 collections demonstrated the need for more regular and dependable HHW services to better meet the needs of McLean County residents. The new inter-governmental agreement to provide for 2015 and 2017 HHW events addresses that need. Because of funding limitations, participation in these collections will be limited to McLean County residents. Illinois law mandates that only residential Household Hazardous Waste may be collected; business or industrial waste cannot be accepted.

Household Hazardous Wastes are materials and chemicals that are toxic, flammable, corrosive, reactive, or explosive. Examples include oil paints, automotive fluids, strong household cleaners, and mercury thermometers. They typically cannot be safely recycled or disposed of without a special HHW center or collection event. These wastes can be a serious threat to water supplies and our local environment if they are improperly discarded with nonhazardous trash (put into a municipal solid waste landfill), dumped down the drain, or illegally dumped elsewhere.

Farm Dreams workshop

A short workshop in which participants meet experienced sustainable farmers, tour a farm, learn about successful farm enterprises, and ask questions about local farm businesses. Farm Dreams covers resource assessment, goal setting, financial planning, and marketing options. New this year: each workshop will be held on a farm and include a farm tour.

Compost Bin Workshop

The magic of composting can happen in several ways.  In this hands-on workshop, you can select and build the style of composter that works best for you!  We’ll show you how to use your bin to recycle your food scraps and yard waste into valuable compost for your lawn or garden. All participants, regardless of which option chosen, will receive a plastic pail for collecting your kitchen waste.

Option 1: Wooden Pallet Composter060913121001

This collapsible (for ease of getting it home!) composter will measure approximately 3x3x3 when set up in your yard.  It is open on the top, and easy to stir. Price: $10 for EAC members; $15 for nonmembers.

Option 2: Plastic Garbage Cans

You will make two composters by drilling many holes in garbage cans with lids.  Cans are approximately 30 gallons in size. Price: $15 for EAC members; $20 for nonmembers.

 

The fine print: This workshop runs rain or shine. The construction process can get a bit messy so wear clothes that can get dirty. Bring an appropriate vehicle to transport your compost bin home. We will be using power tools; safety glasses are required and will be provided. For safety reasons, all participants must be 18 years or older.

Lake Bloomington Clean Up

CM150418-133445011Date: Saturday, May 16

Time: 10am-1:30pm

Location: Meet at the Hubbard Park Pavilion at Lake Bloomington, Hudson, IL (behind Davis Lodge)

Food: Lunch is provided.

Activity: We will be beautifying general use spaces for the upcoming summer. Gloves, buckets and “trash grippers” have been donated by our local Lowe’s. Wear something that you won’t mind getting dirty! Family and friends are welcome.

RSVP to jneaves@ilstu.edu by Thursday, 5/14 – please note any dietary restrictions