2018 McLean County recycling rate continues upward trend, reaches new all-time high

McLean County’s recycling rate increased for the third year in a row in 2018. The Ecology Action Center’s annual calculation of community-wide waste generation and recycling shows that the County reached a recycling rate of 46% with an increase of 4.5% from 2017. As a result, the County maintained progress made in 2016 in breaking the previous community-wide recycling goal of 40% while also making progress towards the new community-wide recycling rate goal of 50% set in 2017 under the new 20-year solid waste management plan.

No single category of recyclable materials saw significant fluctuations from the year prior, while there were minor fluctuations across the board in all material streams. However, a likely contributing factor to the improved recycling rate is an improvement in the quality of data received by the EAC by local entities. Annually, as part of the waste and recycling rate calculations, EAC staff is working to improve the process and reduce the opportunity for errors or omissions.

 20142015201620172018
Total MSW Recycled (tons)85,19681,30283,33488,45994,803
Total MSW Landfilled (tons)141,068154,662120,815124,364109,467
Total Municipal Solid Waste Generated (tons)226,264235,964204,150211,230204,271
Recycling Rate37.7%34.5%40.8%41.9%46.4%

With the closure of the McLean County Landfill in late 2018, the Ecology Action Center continues to focus on waste management priorities as outlined in the Twenty-Year Materials Recovery and Resource Management Plan for McLean County, Bloomington, and Normal, Illinois. This includes diversion strategies for waste that would otherwise require landfill disposal further away from the source of origin.

The Ecology Action Center annually collects waste and recycling data to calculate the amount of municipal solid waste generated and recycled for all of McLean County as a lagging indicator of the impact of local recycling and outreach programs. Among other services, the EAC acts as the solid waste agency for Bloomington, Normal, and McLean County and provides technical assistance, recycling promotion, household hazardous waste coordination, education and outreach.

Information on residential recycling, recycling of nontraditional materials, and information on disposal of household hazardous wastes is available by calling (309) 454-3169 or visiting ecologyactioncenter.org.

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