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

Home, Lawn and Garden Day welcomes spring with a variety of gardening topics! Your $50 Registration fee includes:

  • Keynote speaker, Jack Barnwell, a landscape contractor, author, and award-winning garden designer based on Mackinac Island, Michigan, will share the best techniques for design, plant selection, and maintenance practices that create stunning displays of color and form, while minimizing care so that anyone can handle it!
  • Morning Session with Dr. David Kopsell will inspires us all with “Landscape Design Tips, Techniques and Secrets.”
  • 3 Workshops (Choose from over 35!)
  • 1 Mid-day session with Master Gardeners from the WJBC radio show who will be answering questions submitted by the attendees.
  • Lunch and morning refreshments

Plus

  • Vendors and Exhibitors
  • Door Prizes
  • Silent Auction to benefit local Master Gardener projects

See the full workshop brochure.

Space is limited to 300 participants.  Registration closes February 21, 2019

REGISTER HERE

Community Solar Array Launch Party at Stave!

Support the Ecology Action Center and sign up for your own clean, renewable solar energy supply at an affordable rate!

The Ecology Action Center is partnering with StraightUp Solar to promote their Community Solar Array. Community solar is a great way for Ameren customers, who cannot have or do not want a solar array on their own property, to access clean, low cost energy from the sun. StraightUp Solar is offering subscriptions to their ShineMine(™) community solar arrays, to be built this year. The Ecology Action Center is helping get people in Bloomington-Normal signed up because solar makes sense for the environment, makes sense for the subscriber (lower energy costs) and makes sense for the Ecology Action Center because StraightUp Solar is making a contribution to the EAC when you sign up!

Join the Ecology Action Center at Stave Wine Bar & Market on Wednesday, February 6 from 5-8pm to enjoy a libation, learn more about community solar, and get signed up (bring a copy of your Ameren bill with you)!

Show your support for solar energy development and the Ecology Action Center with a community solar subscription. For more information on the community solar subscriptions, please contact: Larissa Armstrong, Ecology Action Center Assistant Director at 309-454-3169  x 15.

Beekeeping 101

Beginner Beekeeping Workshop

Interested in beekeeping? Join this class and learn how to manage your hive and harvest honey, use tools and equipment, promote bee health, proper seasonal care, and mentoring.  Lunch is provided and there are door prizes and a chance to win a complete hive!

This class is presented by the Central Illinois Beekeepers Association, and costs $100 (members) or $115 (non-members), and includes lunch, a smoker, hive tool, book, drawing, and CIBA membership.  Additional family members can join for $25 each to cover the costs of their lunch.

2019 Workshop Flyer Final

Illinois Solar Training Academy

Registration is open for the Midwest Renewable Energy Association’s (MREA) 2019 Solar Training Academy!

The Solar Training Academy is a series of weekend classes held January – March, designed to provide students with industry-leading solar technical training.  This is a great start for anyone interested in a career in solar.  Topics include photovoltaic (PV) fundamentals, PV site assessment practices, and design principles and considerations.

Upon completion, students qualify to sit for the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) PV Associate Exam, an increasingly sought-after solar credential valued by the industry.

The Bloomington, IL academy will be held at Illinois Wesleyan University on 1/19/19-1/20/19, 2/16/19-2/17/19, 3/9/19-3/10/19, and 3/16/19 is exam day.

Visit  midwestrenew.org/sta for more information and to register!

On America Recycles Day – Are You Recycling Right?

Bloomington-Normal, IL-  Nov. 15, 2018 –  On America Recycles Day, local government leaders, multiple organizations and the waste industry, are asking consumers if they are recycling right.  Based on audits performed by the recycling industry, one in four items placed in the recycling cart is not recyclable which has led to increased contamination.

To tackle the issue of recycling contamination, the National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA) and Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) formed a state-wide task force to bring the recycling industry – haulers and sorting facility operators – together with government and business to develop simple, cohesive recycling education materials to help residents better understand what items should and should not be placed in recycling carts.

“Recycling is more highly contaminated with non-recyclable garbage than ever before,” said Walter Willis, SWALCO executive director and co-chair of the NWRA – SWANA task force.  “The non-recyclable items weigh down sorting facilities, reduce commodity prices, and affect the re-manufacturing markets,” continued Willis.

“Recycling facilities report contamination from 25% to over 35% in some of the recycling streams,” said Lisa Disbrow, vice chair of the Illinois Chapter of NWRA and co-chair of the NWRA and SWANA task force. “As recycling facilities add labor to help remove contamination and slow lines to improve recovery, these additional costs are passed along which may increase costs for local governments, and ultimately residents,” commented Disbrow.

The task force identified the most common items placed in the recycling cart that are not recyclable including plastic bags, tanglers (i.e. garden hoses, wire, cords, clothing), food waste, medical waste including syringes, and batteries.  As a result of the task force discussions, guidelines were developed to represent the common recycling denominators of all programs throughout the state, and the goal is to have them as go-to guidelines for all programs, all haulers, and all educators throughout the state. Participating in the discussions at the task force, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency developed and launched a new webpage this month to answer recycling questions for Illinois residents: https://www2.illinois.gov/epa/topics/waste-management/Pages/recycling.aspx

“Plastics are the most commonly misunderstood items,” explained Marie Streenz, Operations Analyst with Midwest Fiber Recycling in Normal. “The resin identification code number in the triangle does not mean that a plastic object is recyclable!  Plastic containers – bottles, tubs, jugs and jars – are the only plastic items recyclable in your curbside carts. Please keep all flexible plastic packaging, pouches, bags, and wraps out of your recycling!”

To both reduce contamination and simplify the message, a streamlined recycling flyer has been developed that is virtually universal across Illinois.  “Beyond that, if local residents want detailed answers of what is and what is not recyclable, they can always call us at 309-454-3169 or check out our easy-to-use Recycle Coach app at RecycleBN.org,” said Michael Brown of the Ecology Action Center.

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Sustainable Gourmet [sold out]

 

The Ecology Action Center invites you to attend the thirteenth annual Sustainable Gourmet  on Thursday, November 8, at 5:30 p.m. This year’s event will feature artisanal local foods hors d’oeuvres prepared by the culinary team at Reality Bites, a sampling of sustainably produced wine from Uptown Normal’s Stave Wine Bar, and locally crafted beer from Keg Grove Brewing Company and Destihl. Destihl is providing a one-of-a-kind brew as one of their selections and Keg Grove’s offerings will include a unique new brew, “Forage”, made with locally collected wild ingredients, brewed specially for this event.

This popular fundraiser for the EAC includes a silent auction with fabulous items from local businesses, organizations, and individuals.

This year attendees also have the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets for a chance to experience an evening of fun for four at the new secret supper club by Epiphany Farms Hospitality Group. The winner will enjoy elevated snacks, shared platters, and chef-driven libations with three of their friends at Bakery & Pickle!

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 2018 recipients of the annual McLean County Green Awards, recognizing efforts to improve our local environment.

Sustainable Gourmet will be held at Reality on Monroe at 111 E. Monroe Street in Bloomington. Reality on Monroe is the beautifully renovated event space for Reality Bites.  Tickets must be purchased in advance; the ticket sales deadline is November 2 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, Dr. Matt Fraker & Dr. Sherri Thornton, Stave Wine Bar, Keg Grove Brewing Company, Reality on Monroe, and WGLT.

Sorry!  We’re sold out!  Tickets are not available at the event.  Please join us next year!

 

 

Rain Barrel Workshop

Join us at our upcoming rain barrel workshop on Thursday, October 18, 2018 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, MSDS datasheet provided)
  • 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.

Solar Bloomington-Normal 2.0 Solar Power Hour

Thinking about going solar?

Residents throughout McLean County have an opportunity to participate in Solar Bloomington-Normal 2.0, a grassroots program combining volume purchasing with community education to make solar more accessible and affordable. Property owners and renters alike may participate in this program!

Regardless of where you live in the county, you can participate in any of the free informational Solar Power Hours. You’ll learn about the basics of solar, its financial implications for a household, and how the solar group buy program works. After the session, get a free, no-obligation site assessment from the competitively selected installer. You have until October 31, 2018, to decide whether to get solar through the program.

Visit http://solarbloomingtonnormal.com for more information.