EAC Employment Opportunities: Education Coordinator and Assistant Director

The Ecology Action Center is seeking to fill up to two full-time positions:

Education Coordinator

This position is responsible for much of EAC’s education and outreach efforts related to solid waste and clean water topics including elementary school programs in all of the fourth grade classrooms in McLean County and all third grade classrooms in Bloomington and Normal.  Additional responsibilities include outreach via tabling events, coordination of educational workshops for composting and rain barrels, marketing of EAC programs and solid waste and clean water messages via traditional and social media, outreach projects like storm drain stenciling and creek clean ups, special event coordination, and other technical services.

Education Coordinator Job Description

Assistant Director

This position will combine several program-oriented roles with some management level responsibilities.  Candidates should possess a strong environmental health, energy efficiency, or environmental studies background along with skills and experience in finance, personnel management, excellent written and verbal communication skills, and familiarity with relevant technology and software.

Assistant Director Job Description

How to Apply

To apply for either position, candidates should complete an EAC Employment Application and submit it with a resume and cover letter to Executive Director Michael Brown at mbrown@ecologyactioncenter.org.  Both positions are open until filled but applicants should submit their application materials by October 6, 2017 to be considered for the first round of interviews.

Equal Opportunity

The EAC is an equal opportunity employer for all qualified employees and applicants. All decisions regarding employment are made without regard for race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, or physical and/or mental disability unrelated to ability.

 

Ecology Action Center Encourages “Carpooling” for Household Hazardous Waste Collection

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release
August 28, 2017

Contact: Michael Brown
Phone: (309) 454-3169 x.11

With less than two weeks to go until the September 9 Household Hazardous Waste Collection for McLean County residents, the Ecology Action Center is asking everyone to share a ride. The EAC’s Executive Director Michael Brown says, “Nobody likes to sit in line—but there’s not much we can do about it, right? Wrong. The single most important thing residents can do to help reduce wait times is to carpool their hazardous waste with that of their friends and neighbors”.
According to Brown, one vehicle carrying the hazardous materials from several households is much more time-efficient for the hazardous waste crews to unload than the same volume of materials transported in multiple cars. “So this also means much fewer cars, which means the lines will be both shorter and will move faster,” added Brown.
Under the regulations allowing for one-day HHW collections in Illinois, the EAC is restricted from directly organizing any transportation of hazardous materials. They can only collect it at the event and have it transported to processing/treatment facilities. But residents can organize on their own for carpooling of materials to the collection, whether it’s through their neighborhood association, informally through word-of-mouth, or through social media sites like Nextdoor.com and Facebook.
The McLean County Household Hazardous Waste collection event will be held on Saturday, September 9 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Rivian Automotive, located at 100 N. Mitsubishi Motorway in Normal. Residents must enter the facility using the south gate from West College Avenue instead of the west side entrances used in the past. Participation is limited to McLean County residents. Illinois regulations mandate that only residential HHW may be collected—no business or commercially generated wastes can be accepted.
In the past, state-sponsored HHW collections were a legal, safe, and reliable way of disposing of HHW in Illinois, but budget cuts resulted in the loss of state funding for five years. In 2012, the EAC and its partners decided that the community needed to take matters into its own hands. They developed a public-private partnership to cover the costs of holding a one-day collection. The unprecedented turnout at that event led local government partners to increase support for the 2015 collection. HHW collections are expensive; this year’s will cost as much as $180,000. The City of Bloomington, Town of Normal, and McLean County have provided $140,000. Current sponsors and event partners include Illinois Farm Bureau, Home Sweet Home Ministries, Midwest Fiber, WGLT, Radio Bloomington, Area Disposal, Henson Disposal, State Farm Insurance, and Republic Services.
The Ecology Action Center needs support from private individuals to make this a success. Donations to the McLean County HHW Fund may be made online at HHWmclean.org or by sending a check to the Ecology Action Center at 202 W College Avenue, Normal, IL 61761. The EAC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization; contributions and sponsorships are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law. Fundraising efforts will continue through the date of the HHW collection.
Details including what materials can and cannot be accepted at this event are available at HHWmcLean.org. Volunteers are still needed to help with traffic control at the event; signup is available online at the same address.
The Ecology Action Center is a not-for-profit environmental agency with a mission to inspire and assist residents of McLean County in creating, strengthening and preserving a healthy environment. The EAC acts as a central resource for environmental education, information, outreach, and technical assistance in McLean County.

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Ecology Action Center seeks nominations for McLean County Green Awards

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release
August 28, 2017

Contact:   Michael Brown
Phone:     (309) 454-3169 x.11

 

The Ecology Action Center presents the annual McLean County Green Awards to recognize local efforts to improve our environment.  Nominations are now being accepted for the 2017 awards, with recipients being named in October at the EAC’s annual fall wine-tasting fundraiser.

The McLean County Recycling Award identifies businesses, schools or organizations with outstanding recycling programs or waste reduction efforts or individuals who have played a role in a successful program or effort. While nominations will be accepted for any recycling or waste reduction project, areas of growing interest include source reduction of hazardous wastes or zero-waste programs.

The Anne McGowan Making a World of Difference Award recognizes outstanding projects, activities, or individuals in McLean County who promote environmental awareness or natural resource conservation. The EAC recently dedicated the World of Difference Award in memory of McGowan, an early director of the EAC, due to her ability to inspire and motivate others to take action.  Former EAC Executive Director Michelle Covi described Anne as a catalyst for action.

She was energetic and never hesitated to get her hands dirty. Her natural curiosity and love of the natural world fueled her passion for wildlife exploration and preservation. She shared her love with children and adults alike when she conducted nature walks, wildflower walks, and nature programs. She inspired and nurtured life-long dedication to environmental awareness and conservation in children, college students, and adults whose lives she touched.

In the spirit of Anne, the EAC seeks nominations of worthy projects, organizations, or individuals in nomination for the Anne McGowan Making World of Difference Award or the McLean County Recycling and Waste Reduction Award. Current EAC Executive Director Michael Brown suggested, “if more of us followed the outstanding example set by Anne McGowan, the world would be a much better place.”

Nominations may be made online at ecologyactioncenter.org/green-awards/ or by stopping by the Ecology Action Center at 202 W College Avenue in Normal; all submissions are due by Thursday, September 14 at 5 p.m. The recipients of the 2017 awards will be named at the EAC’s annual wine-tasting fundraiser at Epiphany Farms Restaurant on Thursday, October 12.

The Ecology Action Center is a not-for-profit environmental agency with a mission to inspire and assist residents of McLean County in creating, strengthening and preserving a healthy environment.  The EAC acts as a central resource for environmental education, information, outreach, and technical assistance in McLean County.

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Request for Proposals – Hazardous waste services

RE: Request For Proposals

To whom it may concern:

The Ecology Action Center of Normal, Illinois, is soliciting proposals for a fall 2017 Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event for the residents of McLean County, Illinois. Please download the
RFP from EAC 2017 HHW Collection RFP.

The Ecology Action Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit environmental agency in McLean County, Illinois. Among other roles, the EAC acts as the community solid waste agency for the City of
Bloomington, Town of Normal, and McLean County.

Sincerely,

Michael Brown
Executive Director

 

July 18, 2017 Update: Questions and Answers in Response to HHW RFP 7.18.17

Illinois Farm Bureau and Rivian Automotive sign on to support the HHW Fund

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release
May 23, 2017

Contact: Michael Brown
Phone:     (309) 454-3169

Early Support from New Major Partners: Rivian Automotive and Illinois Farm Bureau® Join McLean County Household Hazardous Waste Effort

Illinois Farm Bureau® (IFB) and Rivian Automotive have pledged their support for the tentative fall 2017 McLean County Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collection event.  The Ecology Action Center recently launched its fundraising campaign for this public-private effort and IFB and Rivian both quickly joined the cause.  The Farm Bureau is acting as a major financial sponsor and Rivian will provide its grounds for the collection.

“Rivian is excited to be part of the community and to support this important service,” said RJ Scaringe, Founder and CEO of the company. “We are happy to share our facility and maintain the tradition of HHW collection events held here at the plant.”  Rivian recently purchased the former Mitsubishi Motors North America plant where it will house the manufacturing operations of their forward-thinking automotive company.

”We realize that local residents – who want to do the right thing – have few options to safely dispose of household hazardous waste. Doing so is expensive,” said IFB president Rich Guebert, Jr. “Partnering with Ecology Action Center and others gives us a chance to support, in a very meaningful way, the community that IFB has called home for more than 50 years,”

The Ecology Action Center held household hazardous waste collection events at what was then Mitsubishi Motors North America in 2015 and 2013, after outgrowing the Interstate Center at the first locally funded event there in 2012.  As the solid waste agency for McLean County, Bloomington, and Normal, the EAC is responsible for coordinating Household Hazardous Waste Collection for the community.  However, the traditional funding for these events through the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) has become very irregular and infrequent. 

After annual HHW collections funded by the IEPA from 2003 to 2007, the state reduced funding for the program and McLean County did not receive a HHW event for five years.  As a result, the EAC, with support from McLean County, the City of Bloomington, and the Town of Normal created the McLean County HHW Fund as a public-private partnership.  In 2012 the Ecology Action Center raised over $160,000 in contributions and in-kind services to hold the first-ever locally funded HHW collection in central Illinois.  This effort resulted in the largest HHW event to-date for McLean County as thousands of households sought to dispose of a backlog of hazardous waste.

This unique and wildly successful funding strategy drew recognition ranging from an Honorable Mention among the 2013 Governor’s Sustainability Awards to the McLean County Chamber of Commerce Green Excellence Award and recognition from the Illinois Recycling Association.

The fall 2017 collection will be the third locally funded event; under an agreement between the EAC, McLean County, the City of Bloomington, and the Town of Normal, the public entities provide about 80% of the funding needed to put on a one-day HHW collection for McLean County residents.  The EAC is responsible for raising the rest of the necessary funds through private contributions and commercial sponsorships.  The EAC has set a fund raising goal for the 2017 HHW Fund of $35,000 to allow for a growing awareness of the need for proper hazardous waste disposal and relative possible increase in attendance at the fall HHW collection.

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.

More information on hazardous waste disposal and nonhazardous waste disposal are available at HHWmclean.org or by calling 369-454-3169.  Free resources include a notification email list for HHW updates, instructions on disposal of nonhazardous latex paint, suggestions on alternative (non-hazardous) products, and information on the EAC’s Yard Smart program, promoting sustainable landscaping and gardening with less synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.

The Ecology Action Center is a not-for-profit environmental agency with a mission to inspire and assist residents of McLean County in creating, strengthening and preserving a healthy environment.  The EAC acts as a central resource for environmental education, information, outreach, and technical assistance in McLean County.

The Illinois Farm Bureau is a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation, a national organization of farmers and ranchers. Founded in 1916, IFB is a non-profit, membership organization directed by farmers who join through their county Farm Bureau. IFB has a total membership of more than 400,000 and a voting membership of  80,000. IFB represents three out of four Illinois farmers.

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2016 EAC Annual Report

The Ecology Action Center’s annual compilation of program activities for 2016 is now available online.

Ecology Action Center 2016 Annual Report

April Workshops: Build-Your-Own Rain Barrels and Composters

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release: April 10, 2017

Contact:   Kris Hall
Phone:      (309) 454-3169 x. 12

The Ecology Action Center begins its annual series of water-conserving and waste-reduction workshops in April, with sessions on building rain-harvesting and composting systems for your yard or garden. EAC provides all the materials, equipment, and training so that each participant goes home with a high-quality system and all the knowledge necessary to use it, at a very low price.

Spaces are available in the rain barrel workshops on Wednesday, April 12, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. or Saturday, April 15 from 9:00-10:00 a.m.  Participants will make a 55-gallon rain barrel.  Workshop fees are $45 ($35 for EAC members).  Rain barrels provide free water, increasing water conservation and reducing storm water runoff pollution, a major source of water pollution locally and nationwide.

Also scheduled is a composting workshop on Saturday, April 15, from 10:00-11:00 a.m. with a choice of a larger composter constructed of repurposed wood pallets or a pair of smaller composters made of modified 30-gallon plastic bins. Workshop fees are $15 ($10 for EAC members) for the pallet-composter and $20 ($15 for EAC members) for the pair of smaller bins. All participants also receive a 1-gallon kitchen compost pail. Backyard composting is the easiest way to reduce waste from home using natural processes to convert food and fiber waste into valuable organic fertilizer, rich in soil nutrients.

Workshop space is limited and pre-registration is required; online registration is available at ecologyactioncenter.org. Consult the BN-Green Events calendar on the right side of the home page for dates and registration.

The Ecology Action Center is a not-for-profit environmental agency with a mission to inspire and assist residents of McLean County in creating, strengthening and preserving a healthy environment.  The EAC acts as a central resource for environmental education, information, outreach, and technical assistance in McLean County.

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Town of Normal: Notice of Electric Aggregation Scam

Normal, IL – December 19, 2016 – It has come to the Town’s attention that solicitors have recently been sharing incorrect information regarding the Town of Normal Electric Aggregation program. This is a scam. Residents participating in the Town’s aggregation program should be aware that there has been no change to the current program or electric supply provider, Constellation Energy. Neither the Town of Normal nor the current provider are currently engaged in any door-to-door solicitation activity.

Solicitors operating in the Town of Normal are required to register with the Town of Normal Police Department and provide proof of permit when operating in the community. If you encounter a solicitor claiming to falsely represent the Town of Normal or the electric aggregation program, you should ask to see a valid permit, document the individual’s name, and contact the Town of Normal Police Department at (309) 888 – 5030.

As a reminder, all communication regarding the aggregation program is done through mail. If you believe you have been misled and signed up for an alternative energy supply program, please contact Ben McCready at (309) 454 – 9504 for additional assistance.

More information: https://www.normal.org/1103/Electric-Aggregation