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.

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.

America Recycles Day 2018 Update

Due to changes in certain recycling systems in Illinois, some of our historically successful recycling programs that have taken part in America Recycles Day are no longer practical to implement in the same way. These changes have imposed local limitations that will affect our ability to continue these events moving forward. As a result, we have come to the unfortunate decision to discontinue fall America Recycles Day and spring MEGA Recycling events. We sincerely thank our recycling partners for their assistance over the years and their ongoing dedication to providing these services to our community.

Please be on the lookout in November as we continue to highlight our community partners who provide these recycling services. Remember that items previously collected at these events may be dropped off year round at the appropriate locations. If you have questions regarding recycling options in McLean County, please visit RecycleBN.org or download the RecycleCoach app. For additional questions, you may contact the Ecology Action Center at 309-454-3169. Please note that this does not include Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collection events which will continue under the McLean County HHW Fund. Our next anticipated HHW event will likely be in Fall 2019. For more information check out HHWMcLean.org