McLean County Household Hazardous Waste Collection

The Saturday, September 17, 2022 HHW collection event will be appointment-only in order to regulate traffic to prevent long waits; all participants must sign up for an appointment. Participation is open to all Illinois residents at no cost. Illinois regulations mandate that only residential wastes may be collected—no business or commercially generated wastes are accepted.

Accepted materials include: Oil-based paints, Used Motor Oil, Herbicides, Pesticides, Insecticides, Old gasoline, Pool chemicals, Cleaning products, Mercury, Acids, Household batteries, Paint thinners, Lawn chemicals, Solvents, Antifreeze, Hobby chemicals, Aerosol paints and pesticides, Fluorescent lamp bulbs, Drain cleaners, and Corrosives.

Unaccepted items include: Latex paint, Agricultural wastes, business/commercial sector wastes, Explosives, Fireworks, Controlled substances, Car or Truck Batteries, Propane tanks, Smoke detectors, Farm machinery oil, Fire extinguishers, Biohazard waste, Institutional or business waste, electronics/e-waste, or appliances.

Shawnee Showdown: Keep the Forest Standing – A documentary by Cade Bursell

Shawnee Showdown

During the late 1980s and the 1990s, a small, dedicated group of activists fought on the ground and in the courts to stop clear-cutting, oil and gas drilling, and ATV use in the Shawnee National Forest located in Southern Illinois. They won the support of their community and the struggle in a landmark court case. Seventeen years later, the court lifted the injunction, and the Forest Service resumed logging. Shawnee Showdown: Keep the Forest Standing portrays the struggle to protect the forest through interviews, photographs, and archival news footage. The film examines how the past struggle can serve to inform the public and activists today in responding to current Forest Service management projects. These activists are once again asking hard questions about public land use. Should our public land be degraded to generate commercial profit for a few? With the effects of climate change intensifying and the knowledge that mature forests sequester more carbon, why not keep the Shawnee National Forest standing as a regional carbon sink? How can the forest remain a healthy habitat for struggling forest species like forest interior and migratory songbirds? Will our Illinois treasure be despoiled? How do we keep the forest standing?

Cade Bursell’s 2021 documentary will be shown Wednesday, August 31, 2022 at the Normal Theater at 7 p.m., free of charge.  Shawnee activists Sam Stearns and John Wallace will be present for a Q & A after the screening.

This event is sponsored by the Normal Theater, the Ecology Action Center, Saad and Julie Elzanati, David Pittman, John Wesley Powell Audubon Society, Illinois Prairie Wild Ones, and Sugar Grove Nature Center.

Zero Waste Class

Save money with Zero Waste. Learn money-saving strategies that also sustain the future of our planet. Discover the benefits of the five R`s: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot, and how to implement them to detox your home and reduce clutter. Walk away with resources and tips to lessen unnecessary consumption, improve your health, and preserve the Earth for the next generations. THIS CLASS WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE!

Yard Smart Garden Walk

Registration is full for this year’s event. Please join us next year!

The Ecology Action Center is holding its 20th annual Yard Smart Garden Walk on Saturday, August 6, 2022 from 9:00am – 1:00pm.  This free tour highlights beautiful and functional yards in our community that protect our environment, benefit wildlife, and use few or no synthetic chemicals. The tour features multiple home gardens of different styles. The walk will conclude with lunch and a speaker. Participants should bring their own reusable water bottles, and dress for the weather. Participants are encouraged to carpool to conserve fossil fuels and reduce pollution, so check with your friends/family to see if they are going, and consider riding to the event with them.

This garden walk is free to attend, but our staff works hard to make this event happen, so we do encourage donations to help offset the cost of the event and lunch and to help the Ecology Action Center continue its efforts to promote a healthy local environment! We will send event details to registered participants closer to the event date.

The Yard Smart program promotes a more sustainable approach to lawn and garden maintenance. Working with nature to build a healthier ecosystem in both the soil below ground and the yard above ground will produce a more beautiful, sustainable and safer environment for everyone— children and adults, pets and wildlife—by reducing pollutants that runoff into our local water supplies. The program encourages local homeowners to reduce the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, to conserve natural resources such as water and fossil fuels, and to make room for wildlife in their yards. Yard Smart Certification recognizes local homeowners who use ecologically sustainable practices in maintaining their yards and who realize that their lawn, garden and landscaping decisions affect the health of the whole community. More information on the Yard Smart program as well as a set of free resource fact sheets is available at



Note: If you have a log-in in our system, you can log-in when you register and it will populate your information for you. If you do not have a log-in, simply close the pop-up log-in screen and fill in the registration form beneath it.

JWP Audubon Bird Walk

Come take a bird walk with Mercy and Bill Davison! The Town’s recent efforts to restore the natural areas at Hidden Creek have greatly improved the bird habitat. On this walk, you will see birds that nest in Normal and birds that call Normal home year-round. This walk is appropriate for people of all ages and abilities. Three pairs of loaner binoculars will be provided to share.

July 2022: Multiple Job Openings with the Ecology Action Center

"Life is short. Make a difference - work someplace awesome" with Ecology Action Center logo and a 3D rendering of the Earth in space.The Ecology Action Center is seeking a full-time Education Coordinator, half-time Administrative Assistant, and half-time Program Assistant.  All positions are on-site and in-person at the Ecology Action Center at 202 W College Avenue in Normal, Illinois.

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, gender, 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 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.

How to Apply

These positions are open until filled but applicants should submit their application materials by Monday, July 25, 2022 for first round consideration.  Please apply via

Education Coordinator (FT)

Administrative Assistant (PT)

Program Assistant (PT)


JWP Audubon Bird Walk

Did you know that Maxwell Park is a birding hotspot in McLean County? Many bird species build nests and raise fledglings at Maxwell including rare species. Join IWU Professor Given Harper for a leisurely bird walk through the park to see why Maxwell is so special for birdwatchers. Given is a birding expert and has done extensive research into the birds that breed across Normal-Bloomington. Three pairs of loaner binoculars will be provided to share.

JWP Audubon Bird Walk

Led by some of JWP’s finest, weekend bird walks are held during peak migration at our local bird oases, including the Merwin Nature Preserve owned by the ParkLands Foundation. Warblers, thrushes, sparrows, finches, raptors, etc., can all be seen at this location. Merwin is also home to a population of red-headed woodpeckers! Bird walks are appropriate for all ages and all skill levels. We even have 4 pairs of loaner binoculars!

Park in the main lot on 1925E.