Last weekend I looked at the old HP printer that has sat on my garage floor for the past six months. Unwilling to toss it in the garbage can (for environmental reasons), I am also too impatient to wait until the next Village Recycling Extravaganza, which, unfortunately, occurs only once a year for four hours on a Saturday in April. So, if, like me, you just can’t wait to recycle, here are a few ” local establishments” that will recycle or properly dispose of your unusable materials—from the serious to the silly.
(Disclaimer: the list is much too long for one article, and due to ever-increasing recycling efforts, the list will continue to grow and grow, which is pretty cool!)
Unused Prescription Drugs: and in Glen Ellyn will sell you a postage, pre-paid “Take Away Environmental Return” envelope for $3.99, which can hold a large amount of over the counter and prescription drugs. Turn in the drugs to those establishments and recycle empty pill containers with your every day trash. Paying to recycle drugs is a touchy subject, as many believe the cost should be borne by pharmaceutical companies, not end-users.
Yarn: Janet Avilla, owner of Glen Ellyn’s , created her own win/win recycling approach. ”We have a “stash sale” event. Knitters can bring in their leftover and unused yarn, we tag it with their name, and re-sell it at our annual GE Sidewalk Sale table. The donor gets a String Theory store credit, and anything not sold is given to local charities.”
Household Hazardous Waste: Anastasia Urban, Project Manager for Naperville’s Household Hazardous Waste Program, describes their approach; “It’s fabulous because it’s for all residents of DuPage County, and even for any resident in the State of Illinois. Because it is difficult to find facilities that will take many hazardous substances—Naperville takes a lot of them.” Their facility is open every Saturday and Sunday, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the rear of the property behind Fire Station #4, at 1979 Brookdale Road--less than 11 miles from Glen Ellyn. Because they operate a secure facility, trained staff members meet you at your car. You stay in it while they remove all identified waste, and store it for proper recycling or disposal.
They will take:
- automotive fluids (including oil, gasoline, and anti-freeze)
- batteries (including automotive and sump pump),
- cleaning products
- drain openers
- fire extinguishers
- fluorescent bulbs
- mineral spirits
- paints and stains (oil based and alkyd only)
- prescription medications
- propane tanks (20 lbs or less)
- and unknown hazardous substances
Altoids containers, old keys and license plates: is Glen Ellyn’s incredible center for recycling and repurposing an incredible array of materials. One of their simple win/win examples is accepting old metal keys, why? They sell them on the metal scrap market and use the proceeds to fund the Lions organization’s “Recycle for Sight” project. This project assists the need for eye care in developing countries by bringing eyeglasses to people in need.
So where did I take my old HP printer? The City of Wheaton Public Works Storage Lot on Liberty across from the Public Works Garage, just west of Carlton. On the second Saturday of the month from 9:00 a.m. to noon, they will accept an array of small household electronics including:
- fax machines
- vacuum cleaners (remove dust collection bag)
- small appliances
- coffee makers
- curling irons
- hair dryers
- household batteries (AA, 9 volt, all brands)
- toner cartridges
Hope this inspires you to recycle more stuff, and stay tuned here for a full description of Cantigny’s upcoming Green Fair on Sept. 24.