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.

Vermicomposting Workshop (6-17 years old)

NEW!!  Vermicomposting Workshop – for 6-17 year-olds

*This event will be held at Miller Park Zoo. Please visit http://www.bloomingtonparks.org to register.

Do any of these statements describe you??

  • You want a pet but you don’t want to deal with a dog to walk, a noisy parrot, or a cat box to clean.
  • You generate a lot of carrot peelings and banana peels, and hate to just throw them away.
  • You would love to create less garbage but are not sure how.

The answer to all the challenges above involves…. WORMS. Red wigglers, to be precise. Vermicomposting, or composting with worms, is an easy way to recycle food scraps into a rich fertilizer for your plants! These amazing, tiny creatures will actually eat your garbage. This workshop will include everything needed to successfully begin vermicomposting – including worms! Various types of compost systems and techniques will be discussed in addition to troubleshooting tips to avoid potential problems.  Participants will make and take home a vermicomposting bin ready for use.

Session date/times: 

6-9 year-olds:      June 7, 9:00-11:00am

10-17 year-olds:  June 7, 1:00-3:00pm

Registration fees:

$26 per person for MPZS members

$30 per person for non-members

Backyard Gardening – a Full Season Walk Through

A step-by-step series spanning the growing season to learn to grow what you eat and eat what you grow. Get your hands dirty while you learn the skills for seasons to come!

Topics include: soil health, variety selection, crop rotation, tool selection, insect and disease management, harvest, storage and preservation, composting, seed saving, and more!

11 sessions every other Tuesday from 6:00 – 8:00pm from April 23 through September 10 at the Unity Community Center Garden (632 Orlando Ave, Normal, IL).

Your $100 registration includes: 11 hands-on learning sessions, learning materials, seed and tool for use on site, the comprehensive guide book Vegetable Gardening in the Midwest, and a share of the produce you grow.

Register here by April 16

 

Earth Day Clean Up Event: Constitution Trail & Sugar Creek

       

Help keep your community clean and healthy–celebrate Earth Day and help out with Bloomington-Normal Clean Up Week.  Volunteer with the Ecology Action Center, Bike BloNo, McLean County Wheelers, and Friends of the Constitution Trail to clean up along the Constitution Trail and Sugar Creek.

Sign up to help using the volunteer form below.  Minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.  Dress appropriately for the weather and bring your own work gloves if possible.  Trash bags will be provided.  Please register using the form below to help us plan for appropriate numbers; refreshments will be provided at the end of the workday.  In the sign up form, you will chose to work in one of two groups–either the group meeting at Tipton Park at 9 a.m. or the group meeting in the back parking lot behind the Chateau at 9 a.m.

Regular EAC volunteers with access to the online Volunteer Center can login in and sign up for a shift.

 

Rain Barrel Workshop

Join us at our upcoming rain barrel workshop on Thursday, April 18, 2019 at 6:00 p.m., where YOU build your own water-saving rain water collection and storage container.

Workshop prices are $45 ($35 EAC member price).

  • A reused, 55-gallon, food-grade, heavy-gauge plastic barrel (non-food-grade)
  • A flexible plastic elbow to direct rain water from your downspout to your rain barrel. Fits 3″ downspouts.
  • A 6″ heavy duty screen to prevent entry of mosquitoes and leaves
  • High-quality fittings for long life
  • Overflow hose and fittings with mosquito barrier

    rain-barrel2

    55-gallon, food-grade barrel

  • Instruction and use of all tools needed for the project
  • Workshop excludes installation materials for your specific home which may include concrete blocks, hacksaw, screwdriver, sheet metal screws, etc.

The fine print: The construction process can get a bit messy so wear clothes that can get dirty. The barrels measure 25″ x 35″ and weigh 25 pounds. Bring an appropriate vehicle to transport your barrel home. There is a limit of one rain barrel per household per workshop. For safety reasons, all participants must be 18 years or older.

Pre-2011 EAC rain barrels:

If you built or bought an EAC rain barrel during or prior to 2011, please check to see if the lid of your barrel fits properly and there are nor holes or gaps that would allow mosquitoes inside the barrel; they can fit through very small gaps or cracks. If your rain barrel seals poorly or has noticeable cracks/gaps – you can attend a new workshop and replace your old barrel for a new one with a secure lid at a reduced price (see that option on the registration form below)

Mega Rain Harvester

275gal mega rain harvester

*Note: If you are interested in a 275 gallon mega rain harvester (measure about 4′ x 4′ x 4′ and weigh 50 pounds), we are not building 275-gallon mega rain harvesters in this workshop, but they are available for purchase and delivery. They are $100 or $90 for EAC supporters plus tax. We can also deliver in Bloomington-Normal for $25 and in the rest of McLean County for $50. Please contact the Ecology Action Center if you are interested in a mega rain harvester 309-454-3169.

Sugar Creek Stewards Workday

Come join us for our April workday along Sugar Creek! We need help improving Sugar Creek in designated areas throughout Bloomington and Normal, by clearing invasive plant species and managing the non-invasive plants. scs logo

Volunteers must be 18 years old or older (or 14 and accompanied by a parent or guardian) and be able to hike along uneven terrain and safely use basic hand tools such as loppers and bow saws. Please dress appropriately for the weather and bring your own work gloves and (reusable) bottle of water.

The Sugar Creek Stewards is part of the Ecology Action Center’s Clean Water programming, and is supported by the City of Bloomington and the Town of Normal. For more information, contact us.

barry-mantis

 

Details on worksite location will be provided to registered volunteers prior to the workday. To become a regular EAC volunteer and be automatically contacted for future Sugar Creek Steward workdays and other volunteer opportunities, register at EAC-Volunteer. Otherwise, please fill out the registration form below!

 

 

 

 

 

BN Clean Up Week

The City of Bloomington Beautification Committee, The Town of Normal, and the Ecology Action Center invite area residents to help with the annual community-wide clean up, scheduled for Saturday, April 13, 2019 through Sunday, April 21, 2019.  You have a couple of options for helping out:

    1. If you know of a public park that needs cleaning up, Normal Parks and Recreation Department and City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation will provide clean up supplies (trash bags, gloves).  Please leave your collected trash next to an existing public trash receptacle if possible.
    2. If you know of a private property that needs cleaning up, first seek permission from the property owner.  Then you can get trash bags and work gloves from Normal Parks and Recreation or City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation.  You will need to make your own arrangments for disposal of the trash collected.
    3. Sign up to volunteer for the Ecology Action Center’s Earth Day Clean Up on Saturday, April 20, 2019 from 9 a.m. until noon.  Our clean up area is the Constitution Trail and Sugar Creek from Tipton Park west to Audubon Gardens.  Sign up to receive full details on meeting locations and other instructions.  Children under 18 allowed to participate if accompanied by a parent or guardian.

 

For clean-up supplies, please contact Gene Kotlinski at Normal Parks and Recreation (454-9724 or [email protected])  or the City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation (434-2260).

Thirsty Land Screening

Water is a crucial global resource, and water security is central to sustainable development. Thirsty Land discusses extreme drought, agriculture, and the water crisis in the Western United States and how these challenges impact farmers, communities, and the environment.

We are thrilled to have Conrad Weaver, the film’s producer/director, joining us for the screening. He will be presenting after the film.  We expect the screening to open a dialog about the far-reaching impact of this water crisis and how, as engaged and informed citizens, we should be aware of what can and should be done about it.  The screening is co-sponsored by the Center for a Sustainable Water Future, the American Democracy Project, and the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning.

We hope to see you on March 25 for this important film and discussion!