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.

Composting Workshop

Join us on Saturday, September 16, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. to build your own composter!  Backyard composting is an easy way to reduce waste and create rich soil nutrients to enrich your garden at the same time.  Taking advantage of natural processes, minimizes land-filled residential waste and produces a valuable organic fertilizer.

Turn pallets into a compost bin!

Pallet composter

The composting workshop includes everything you need to successfully begin home composting.  We’ll discuss various types of compost systems and techniques in addition to troubleshooting tips to avoid potential problems.  Participants will make and take home a composter ready for use as well as a kitchen compost pail.

Option 1: Wooden Pallet Composter

This collapsible composter will measure approximately 3x3x3 when set up.  It is open on the top, and easy to stir.

Price:  $15 for EAC members; $20 for nonmembers.

Convert a garbage can into a compost barrel!

Garbage can composter

Option 2: Plastic Garbage Cans

This model takes up little room and is easy to duplicate when you need more capacity.  Cans are approximately 30 gallons in size, and participants build TWO composting cans.

Price: $25 for EAC members; $30 for nonmembers.

Workshop space is limited and pre-registration is required. This workshop runs rain or shine. The construction process can get a bit messy so wear clothes that can get dirty. Bring an appropriate vehicle to transport your compost bin home. We will be using power tools; safety glasses are required and will be provided. For safety reasons, all participants must be 18 years or older.

Rain Barrel Workshop

Join us at our upcoming rain barrel workshop on Saturday, September 16, 2017, at 9:00 a.m., where YOU build your own water-saving rain water collection and storage container.

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

The workshop includes:

  • 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: This workshop runs rain or shine. 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. We will use power tools: safety glasses are required and will be provided. For safety reasons, all participants must be 18 years or older.

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.

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.

McLean County HHW Collection

On Saturday, September 9, 2017 McLean County residents will have an opportunity for safe disposal of their Household Hazardous Wastes (HHW).  The Ecology Action Center has again led a public-private partnership to raise funds for to cover the costs of a HHW collection; Rivian Automotive (located at the former Mitsubishi Motors North America) is generously providing their facility as a venue for the public event. Proper disposal of HHW items is crucial for the protection of local water supplies.

The September 9 HHW collection will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is free and open only to McLean County residents.  Per state regulations only residential HHW can be collected – no business or commercially generated wastes may be accepted.  Residents may enter the event via the south entrace to the Rivian Automotive Facility, from West College Avenue in Normal.  The event will occur rain or shine.

For an efficient event and to minimize wait times, residents are encouraged to follow these guidelines:

  • Items that will be accepted include oil-based paints, household batteries, paint thinners, used motor oil, herbicides, drain cleaners, insecticides, lawn chemicals, pesticides, solvents, old gasoline, antifreeze, pool chemicals, hobby chemicals, cleaning products, aerosol paints and pesticides, mercury, fluorescent lamp bulbs, double bagged and wetted asbestos, old and outdated medicines and pharmaceuticals, and electronics, including tube-style TVs or monitors (limited to one tube style TV accepted per household).
  • Items that will not be accepted include latex paint, tires, agricultural chemicals, propane tanks, business/commercial sector wastes, smoke detectors, explosives, farm machinery oil, fireworks, fire extinguishers, lead acid batteries, institutional wastes, medical wastes, sharps, needles and potentially infectious medical wastes.
  • Latex paint is not hazardous and may be disposed of in household trash once it has been completely dried to a solid.  This is easily accomplished by pouring the latex paint out onto several layers of newspaper or other disposable material in an appropriate amount and letting it air dry.  Once it is dry and solidified it may be safely and legally thrown in the trash.  This technique is only applicable to latex paints; oil paints are always considered hazardous and should be used up for their intended purpose or disposed of at a HHW event.
  • Materials should be kept in original labeled packaging and containers – do not mix materials together.
  • Carpool your HHW.  To reduce excessive traffic and waiting time at the event, residents are strongly encouraged to work with their neighbors and friends, especially in helping the elderly, to bring HHW materials from multiple households in one vehicle.
  • Materials will only be accepted during the event hours – dumping of materials before or after the event is illegal.

Improper disposal of household hazardous wastes pollutes our local water supplies and environment.  Whether it is thrown out with regular trash going to a municipal waste landfill, dumped illegally down the drain, storm sewer, or in a ditch, these actions compromise the safety of drinking water thereby threatening the health and well-being of area residents.  The Ecology Action Center, a local leader in recycling and solid waste management efforts, receives inquiries daily from concerned residents who wish to dispose of materials properly.  HHW collection events are the primary means for safe disposal of many of these materials.

To cover the estimated $175,000 cost of this one-day event, the Ecology Action Center is accepting donations to the McLean County HHW Fund.  Tax deductible donations may be made online or by sending a check to: Ecology Action Center, 202 W College Ave, Normal, IL  61761.  Please donate to make this event a success.

Volunteers are critical to the success of this event.  Please sign up to assist with event set up, take down, or traffic control and other roles.  All volunteers must be 18 years old or older.

Light the Night Bike Light Giveaway

Bicycling is a great way to get exercise, have fun, and reduce your transportation-related carbon footprint. However, you definitely want to ride safely! If you bring a bike without lights to the Light the Night event, you’ll get a free set of LED front and rear lights!

Composting Workshop

Registration for this event is CLOSED.  Please join us for our September workshop!

Join us on Saturday, August 19, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. to build your own composter!  Backyard composting is an easy way to reduce waste and create rich soil nutrients to enrich your garden at the same time.  Taking advantage of natural processes, minimizes land-filled residential waste and produces a valuable organic fertilizer.

Turn pallets into a compost bin!

Pallet composter

The composting workshop includes everything you need to successfully begin home composting.  We’ll discuss various types of compost systems and techniques in addition to troubleshooting tips to avoid potential problems.  Participants will make and take home a composter ready for use as well as a kitchen compost pail.

Option 1: Wooden Pallet Composter

This collapsible composter will measure approximately 3x3x3 when set up.  It is open on the top, and easy to stir.

Price:  $15 for EAC members; $20 for nonmembers.

Convert a garbage can into a compost barrel!

Garbage can composter

Option 2: Plastic Garbage Cans

This model takes up little room and is easy to duplicate when you need more capacity.  Cans are approximately 30 gallons in size, and participants build TWO composting cans.

Price: $25 for EAC members; $30 for nonmembers.

Workshop space is limited and pre-registration is required. This workshop runs rain or shine. The construction process can get a bit messy so wear clothes that can get dirty. Bring an appropriate vehicle to transport your compost bin home. We will be using power tools; safety glasses are required and will be provided. For safety reasons, all participants must be 18 years or older.

Neighborhood Solar Open House

This Open House is an opportunity for solar owners to share their experience and for curious neighbors to ask questions about how solar works.
It’s a family-friendly, casual event with refreshments provided.

Rain Barrel Workshop

Registration for this workshop is CLOSED.  Please join us at our September workshop!

Join us at our upcoming rain barrel workshop on Saturday, August 19, 2017, at 9:00 a.m., where YOU build your own water-saving rain water collection and storage container.

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

The workshop includes:

  • 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: This workshop runs rain or shine. 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. We will use power tools: safety glasses are required and will be provided. For safety reasons, all participants must be 18 years or older.

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

Volunteer registration for this event is CLOSED.  Please join us on September 16th!

Come join us for our August 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

The next workday is Saturday, August 19, from 9 am to 12 pm. 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. We typically have scheduled work days the 3rd Saturday of the month throughout the year (June is an exception due to staff availability) – invasive species never sleep, so neither can we!

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

barry-mantis

 

Details on worksite and meeting 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.