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.

McLean County Household Hazardous Waste Collection

HHW Logo

On October 17, 2015, McLean County residents will have an opportunity for safe disposal of their Household Hazardous Wastes (HHW).  The Ecology Action Center has again led a public-private partnership to raise funds for to cover the costs of a HHW collection; Mitsubishi Motors North America is generously providing their parking lots as a venue for the public event. Proper disposal of HHW items is crucial for the protection of local water supplies.

The October 17 HHW event will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is free and open only to McLean County residents.  Per state regulations only residential HHW can be collected – no business or commercially generated wastes may be accepted.  Residents may enter the event via the main entrance at 100 N. Mitsubishi Motorway, in Normal.  The event will occur rain or shine.

For an efficient event and to minimize wait times, residents are encouraged to follow these guidelines:

  • Items that will be accepted include oil-based paints, household batteries, paint thinners, used motor oil, herbicides, drain cleaners, insecticides, lawn chemicals, pesticides, solvents, old gasoline, antifreeze, pool chemicals, hobby chemicals, cleaning products, aerosol paints and pesticides, mercury, fluorescent lamp bulbs, double bagged and wetted asbestos, old and outdated medicines and pharmaceuticals, and electronics.
  • Items that will not be accepted include latex paint, tires, agricultural chemicals, propane tanks, business/commercial sector wastes, smoke detectors, explosives, farm machinery oil, fireworks, fire extinguishers, lead acid batteries, institutional wastes, medical wastes, sharps, needles and potentially infectious medical wastes.
  • Latex paint is not hazardous and may be disposed of in household trash once it has been completely dried to a solid.  This is easily accomplished by pouring the latex paint out onto several layers of newspaper or other disposable material in an appropriate amount and letting it air dry.  Once it is dry and solidified it may be safely and legally thrown in the trash.  This technique is only applicable to latex paints; oil paints are always considered hazardous and should be used up for their intended purpose or disposed of at a HHW event.
  • Materials should be kept in original labeled packaging and containers – do not mix materials together.
  • To reduce excessive traffic and waiting time at the event, residents are strongly encouraged to work with their neighbors and friends, especially in helping the elderly, to bring HHW materials from multiple households in one vehicle.
  • Materials will only be accepted during the event hours – dumping of materials before or after the event is illegal.

Improper disposal of household hazardous wastes pollutes our local water supplies and environment.  Whether it is thrown out with regular trash going to a municipal waste landfill, dumped illegally down the drain, storm sewer, or in a ditch, these actions compromise the safety of drinking water thereby threatening the health and well-being of area residents.  The Ecology Action Center, a local leader in recycling and solid waste management efforts, receives inquires daily from concerned residents who wish to dispose of materials properly.  HHW collection events are the primary means for safe disposal of many of these materials.

To cover the estimated $180,000 cost of this one-day event, the Ecology Action Center is accepting donations to the McLean County HHW Fund.  Tax deductible donations may be made online or by sending a check to: Ecology Action Center, 202 W College Ave, Normal, IL  61761.

Volunteers are critical to the success of this event.  Please sign up to assist with event set up, take down, or traffic control and other roles.  All volunteers must be 18 years old or older.

Event Sponsors and Partners

blm    McLean County    Normal IL logo

mwf    WGLT

HSH    mmnaRGBv

McLean County Health Department
McLean County Regional Planning

 

Local Flavors 2015 Dinner at Destihl

Now you can find farm-fresh meals at your favorite restaurants during Local Flavors 2015! Participating restaurants will prepare a fresh, seasonal meal with produce sourced from local farmers. One lunch and one dinner will be held each month, June through October, at different restaurants across Bloomington-Normal. Fresh, Healthy, Delicious, Good for you, Good for the Community, and Good for the Environment. For more information visit http://www.buyfreshbuylocalcentralillinois.org/ or contact Molly Gleason at 217-528-1563, molly@ilstewards.org

Lecture Series #6 (Normal 1-5-0)

Panel Discussion: Normal Blossoms: Growth, Redevelopment, and Planning for Sustainability 1993-2015.
Panelists: Mark Peterson, Chris Koos, Dottie Bushnell, Alan Chapman
Moderator: Dan Irvin

2015 Illinois Solar Tour

The 2015 Illinois Solar Tour will take place on Saturday, October 3rd from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Home and business owners with renewable energy installations are invited to open their homes to the public and share their passion, knowledge and experience of owning, maintaining and living with renewable energy. 

Solar Tour Host Sites:

The Solar Tour functions like an open house, with attendees coming and going at different times throughout the day.  We encourage you to invite your family and friends to help with tour attendee education and management. Depending on location and weather conditions, host sites can expect a handful of visitors or as many as 100! You do NOT need to be an ISEA member to be a host site. All are welcome to spread the word about clean energy !

 Host Site Recommendations:

    • Post tour sign in a visible location on the street.
    • Set up a registration table.  A registration form will be emailed to you. Please print copies for your guests to fill out.  Ask all guests to sign-in.
    • Make yourself available from 10:00am to 2:00pm to show attendees your renewable energy installation. Some host sites may have an outside system; while others are inside the home to show mechanicals or other green features.  Inside or outside, it is completely at your discretion.
    • Be knowledgeable about your installation as attendees will ask questions. Feel free to display information, charts, and/or documentation that will help explain features of your installation.
    • Make it personal.  Share your story about why you chose to have a renewable energy system.
    • We highly recommend that each host site reach out to their local newspaper, village hall or radio station to market your participation in the Solar Tour.  ISEA will provide and solar tour press release template for your use.

Post-Event: Tour hosts are asked to provide tour attendee data back to ISEA after the tour is over. We appreciate your commitment to the renewable energy community and generosity necessary to be a Solar Tour Host Site. 

Questions should be directed to taylor.gendel@illinoissolar.org.

Local Flavors 2015 Lunch at Biaggi’s

Now you can find farm-fresh meals at your favorite restaurants during Local Flavors 2015! Participating restaurants will prepare a fresh, seasonal meal with produce sourced from local farmers. One lunch and one dinner will be held each month, June through October, at different restaurants across Bloomington-Normal. Fresh, Healthy, Delicious, Good for you, Good for the Community, and Good for the Environment. For more information visit http://www.buyfreshbuylocalcentralillinois.org/ or contact Molly Gleason at 217-528-1563, molly@ilstewards.org

Lecture Series #3 (Normal 1-5-0)

Mike Matejka and Terri Tyburn – Growing from the Junction: The Evolution of Transportation in Normal.

Tour de Taco 2015

tdt-15Tour de Taco is just the most awesome thing ever. It’s a family-friendly social bicycle event geared at increasing visibility of cyclists in our community, while promoting safe and responsible bike-riding practices on the road. Also, tacos are delicious.

This fundraising event for Bike BloNo event kicks off at 11:30am, Sept 19 in the parking lot just north of Uptown Circle. Group rides will be organized along a scheduled route, so you can ride as much or as little as you please. Then, join your new cyclist friends in Uptown Normal for an after-party. Proceeds from your registration will help fund Bike BloNo’s advocacy efforts, including an upcoming safety-awareness campaign.

Rain Barrel Workshop

rain-barrel2The Ecology Action Center is excited to announce our hands-on workshop where YOU build your own water saving rainwater collection and storage container.  You have your choice of a 55-gallon rain barrel or 275-gallon Mega Rain Harvester.  Workshop prices are $45 ($35 EAC member price) for the rain barrel or $105 ($90 EAC member) for the Mega Rain Harvester.

The workshop includes:

  • A reused, 55-gallon, food-grade, heavy-gauge plastic barrel or 275-gallon tote (non-food grade, MSDS datasheet provided)
  • A flexible plastic elbow to direct rain water from your downspout to your rain barrel. Fits 3″ downspouts.
  • A 6″ heavy duty screen to prevent entry of mosquitoes and leaves
  • High-quality fittings for long life
  • Overflow hose and fittings with mosquito barrier
  • Instruction and use of all tools needed for the projectMega Rain Harvester
  • Workshop excludes installation materials for your specific home which may include concrete blocks, hacksaw, screwdriver, sheet metal screws, etc.

The fine print: This workshop runs rain or shine. The construction process can get a bit messy so wear clothes that can get dirty. The barrels measure 25″ x 35″ and weigh 25 pounds; the Mega Rain Harvesters measure about 4′ x 4′ x 4′ and weigh 50 pounds. Bring an appropriate vehicle to transport your barrel home. There is a limit of one rain barrel/harvester per household per workshop. 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.