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.

Home, Lawn, and Garden Day

Turn March into magic with educational classes, inspirational speakers, and horticulture treasures from a variety of exceptional businesses and artisans at the 18th annual Home, Lawn and Garden Day sponsored by University of Illinois Extension McLean County Master Gardeners. This event will take place from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Saturday, March 7 at Central Catholic High School, Bloomington. Registration is now open!

Attendees select four workshops from over 35 trending horticulture topics and also attend the welcome and keynote sessions. Kira Santiago, owner of Kira’s Flowers, will open the morning inspiring us all with “The Art of Sustainable Flower Design and the Hand-Tied Bouquet,” you will learn sustainable floral growing and design techniques, and the natural ecosystem of her farm which includes flowers, vegetables, honeybees, and chickens. During the mid-day session, Master Gardeners you often hear on the WJBC radio show will host a question and answer segment of questions submitted by the attendees during registration. Researched-based solutions will be presented, combined with fun and practical advice! Keynote speaker Ken Myszka, a professionally trained chef, entrepreneur, sustainable farmer, and local restaurant owner, will also be translating Epiphany Farms’ innovative closed-loop system to the small scale home garden. Learn about practices for the small garden that encourage sustainability and regeneration without extra effort. Topics will include composting, companion planting, natural predators, integrated pest management, permaculture and regenerative agriculture principles, and biodiversity.

A $50 registration fee includes workshops, vendors and exhibitors, morning refreshments, lunch, door prizes, and silent auction. For more information and to register online, please visit us at go.illinois.edu/HLGD. Registration is open now through February 24, but remember to register early as workshops fill fast! For more information about the event, please contact us at the University of Illinois Extension – McLean County Office at (309) 663-8306.

Full time opening – Program Coordinator

Ecology Action Center
Program Coordinator Job Description

The Program Coordinator is a full-time salaried position with health insurance and paid time off including annual vacation time, sick time, and holidays.  The position is contingent upon funding.  Specific responsibilities may vary and are subject to change dependent upon funding opportunities.

This position will focus on the coordination and implementation of energy efficiency, recycling and waste reduction, or clean water protection outreach programs.  Specific roles depend on pending funding opportunities.  Candidates should possess a strong environmental health, energy efficiency, or environmental studies background.   Excellent written and verbal communication skills are required, and familiarity with relevant technology and software.

Major responsibilities include some combination, but not all of the following:

  • Promotion, coordination, and implementation of educational outreach programs such as fourth and third grade classroom programs in recycling/waste reduction and watersheds/stormwater runoff pollution.
  • Coordination of volunteer outreach projects including storm drain stenciling, creek clean ups, and/or natural areas stewardship workdays.
  • Educate residents at community events through information booths
  • Presentations to community groups.
  • Coordination of special events as assigned.
  • Research and project development to address program needs.
  • Coordinate programs to combine duties whenever necessary to save time and costs.
  • Assessment of homes and small businesses for energy use and adequate weatherization and provide detailed written reports of findings and recommendations.
  • Promotion of clean renewable energy such as solar PV through coordination of solar group purchasing programs, educational sessions, and other outreach.
  • Creation of educational content and messaging to promote program objectives (waste, clean water, or energy efficiency).
  • Update program-specific websites with new and updated content.

Additional duties may include assisting or leading educational programs, scheduling of programs, promoting programs and events of the EAC, working with interns and volunteers to facilitate programs of the EAC, staffing the center including answering phone calls, greeting the public, distributing informational materials, and assisting with the regular running of the center.  Weekend and evening hours are required occasionally.

Qualifications

  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree.  Preferred course of study in Energy, Environmental Health, Environmental Studies or other environmental sciences major.  Preferred Masters of Science in relevant study area.
  • 3 years of experience in nontraditional education and/or community outreach with varied age groups and other demographics
  • Strong communication skills required, both written and verbal
  • Experience and high degree of comfort with web and computer technologies: spreadsheets, social media, WordPress, databases,  NeonCRM, etc.
  • Ability to work occasional long hours and irregular schedules to accommodate programmatic needs
  • Ability to stand for 4 or more hours at a time
  • Ability to lift up to 25 pounds
  • Must provide own transportation, automobile insurance, and have a satisfactory driving record.

How to Apply

To apply, candidates should complete an EAC Employment Application and submit it with a resume and cover letter to Executive Director Michael Brown at [email protected]  The position is open until filled but applicants should submit their application materials by January 7, 2020 for initial consideration.

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

The Ecology Action Center is a not-for-profit environmental agency with a mission to inspire and assist our community 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.

Ecology Action Center announces recipients of 2019 McLean County Green Awards

The Ecology Action Center annually presents the annual McLean County Green Awards in order to recognize significant local efforts to improve our environment.  The 2019 award recipients were named at the EAC’s annual fall event, the Sustainable Gourmet on November 14.

The McLean County Recycling and Waste Reduction 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.   The 2019 award was presented to a group of volunteers who coordinate local collections of “Terracycle”, a nontraditional recycling program that recycles a wide range of diverse items including snack chip bags, drink pouches, water filters, and beauty product packaging.  Amie Keeton, Janet Guaderrama, Macia Nagy, Melanie Ziomek, organize Terracyle collections through a 24 hour drop-off site in partnership with St. Luke Union Church in Bloomington.  Over the past several years they have helped divert over 100,000 items from the landfill through their efforts.  More information on Terracycle programs in Bloomington-Normal is available on the EAC website at https://ecologyactioncenter.org/terracycle/.

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 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. Henry Brockman is a local organic produce farmer in the Congerville area who provides vegetables to hundreds of Central Illinois residents each year through CSA (community supported agriculture ) subscriptions.  He is a leader local food in central Illinois as he adopts new strategies on an ongoing basis to better protect our local environment, saying “the goal of everything I do in my fields is to give life to the soil and the entire ecosystem”.  He plants over 650 varieties of vegetables each year, experimenting with new types and improving his practices to adapt to a changing climate.  Learn more about the Brockman family farm or sign up for a 2020 CSA subscription at https://brockmanfamilyfarming.com/henrys-farm/. 

Past recipients of the McLean County Green Awards are listed on the Ecology Action Center website at https://ecologyactioncenter.org/green-awards-2/.

The mission of the Ecology Action Center is to inspire and assist our community 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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Illinois Solar For All Doorhanger Distribution Workday

The EAC needs your help!  We were one of 10 non-profits across the state selected to educate our community about Illinois Solar for All – a program designed to help increase access to solar to low-income families and communities.  We are hosting several educational presentations about the program, and we need help marketing the program to area residents.  Please help us hang door flyers in West Bloomington to get the word out so we can make sure our community can benefit from this important program!

Volunteers must be 18 years old or older.

Please sign up using the link below.  You will receive further details, including the meeting location for the workday, prior to the event date.

 


 

Illinois Solar For All Doorhanger Distribution Workday

The EAC needs your help!  We were one of 10 non-profits across the state selected to educate our community about Illinois Solar for All – a program designed to help increase access to solar to low-income families and communities.  We are hosting several educational presentations about the program, and we need help marketing the program to area residents.  Please help us hang door flyers in West Bloomington to get the word out so we can make sure our community can benefit from this important program!

Volunteers must be 18 years old or older.

Please sign up using the link below.  You will receive further details, including the meeting location for the workday, prior to the event date.

 


 

Illinois Solar For All Doorhanger Distribution Workday

The EAC needs your help!  We were one of 10 non-profits across the state selected to educate our community about Illinois Solar for All – a program designed to help increase access to solar to low-income families and communities.  We are hosting several educational presentations about the program, and we need help marketing the program to area residents.  Please help us hang door flyers in West Bloomington to get the word out so we can make sure our community can benefit from this important program!

Volunteers must be 18 years old or older.

Please sign up using the link below.  You will receive further details, including the meeting location for the workday, prior to the event date.

 


 

Introduction to Agroforestry

The Savanna Institute is hosting an Introduction to Agroforestry Workshop.  The workshop will provide detailed information on how to grow a variety of perennial plants.  The workshop also include lunch from Epiphany Farms and the opportunity to connect with like-minded people.

Sustainable Gourmet

 

The Ecology Action Center invites you to attend the fourteenth annual Sustainable Gourmet  on Thursday, November 14, at 5:30 p.m. This year’s event will feature artisanal local foods hors d’oeuvres prepared by the culinary team at Epiphany Farms, a sampling of sustainably produced wine from Uptown Normal’s Stave Wine Bar, and locally crafted beer from Keg Grove Brewing Company and Emancipation Brewing.

This popular fundraiser for the EAC includes a silent auction with fabulous items from local businesses, organizations, and individuals.  Proceeds from this fundraiser benefit the Ecology Action Center and its important environmental sustainability efforts in Bloomington-Normal and McLean County.  As part of this event, the Ecology Action Center will announce the 2019 recipients of the annual McLean County Green Awards, recognizing efforts to improve our local environment.

Sustainable Gourmet will be held at Epiphany Farms in Downtown Bloomington.  Tickets must be purchased online or at the EAC  in advance; (if you have already used our new system to make an annual contribution or other donation, be sure to sign in when you register for the event!  It will make the process even easier!) the ticket sales deadline is November 11 or when tickets are sold out, whichever comes first. This event has sold out the past five years in a row so attendees are encouraged to buy tickets early. For more information, contact the Ecology Action Center at (309) 454-3169.

This event is sponsored by Straight Up Solar, Workbench Collaborative LLC, Renkon Yoga Studio, Stave Wine Bar, Keg Grove Brewing Company, Epiphany Farms, Emancipation Brewing, PrairiErth Farms and WGLT.

Buy tickets now

If you have already used our new system to make an annual contribution or other donation, be sure to sign in when you register for the event!  It will make the process even easier!