COVID-19 Relevant Updates

COVID-19

Temporary Recycling & Waste Changes

Due to the current pandemic situation, the Town of Normal has temporarily closed the Electronics Recycling program for McLean County residents.  Please hold onto these items until the situation has improved and this services is able to resume.

Town of Normal curbside garbage and recycling pickup will be maintained on regular pick-up days. Bulky Waste and Brush will continue to be collected curbside. Due to limited crew size, please hold on to these items if possible and place these items at the curb only if necessary. Please place recycling bins on the curb only when they are full.

Ordering for trash and recycle carts is available online at normal.org. Delivery of the carts might be delayed due to crew availability.

Town of Normal Landscape waste collection that was previously scheduled to start on March 30, 2020 will be delayed until at least April 7, 2020.   Landscape waste is organic yard and garden waste such as leaves and plant trimmings. Landscape waste does not include grass clippings, sod, dirt or sticks. Sticks and other “woody” trimmings are considered brush and may be piled loose at the curb for brush collection. The landscape waste collection drop site will be available for residents; however, residents are encouraged to stay at home.  Free mulch pick-up will be unavailable.

The City of Bloomington Citizen Convenience Center will reopen on Tuesday, April 7, 2020.
Hours (same as pre-closure):

  • Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 7 AM to 2:45 PM
  • Wednesday: 11 AM to 6:45 PM

Bloomington will be limiting contact between staff and citizens and following CDC guidelines and best practices.

  • Staff will advise users to roll up their windows and show their driver’s license from behind the closed window.
  • There will be one user vehicle per material bin location at a time.
  • Staff does not handle material with their hands, unless absolutely necessary and then only with proper PPE.
  • Equipment is utilized to move material from bins to roll-off containers.

City of Bloomington Spring Free Curbside Bulk Collection

Bloomington is delaying the beginning of Spring Free Curbside Bulk Collection from May 1st to Monday, July 6th. Collection typically takes about two weeks, and we’ll be providing an area-specific schedule as we get closer to July 6th.


Avoid Coronavirus “Quick Fix” Scams

The Pantagraph shared an article from the Chicago Tribune highlighting a rise in scams designed to prey on people’s anxieties about the coronavirus pandemic. The EAC urges residents to read the article to make themselves aware.

One of the examples cited was robocalls encouraging people to get air duct cleaning services to help stop the spread of coronavirus. The EAC wants to stress that duct cleaning will not prevent the spread of the coronavirus. If you receive calls like this or other communications that appear to be scams, contact the office of the Illinois Attorney General to report it.

The best way to protect yourself and your community is to thoroughly wash your hands regularly, clean and disinfect shared surfaces, avoid close contact with people who are sick (if you are sick, keep your mouth and nose covered to help reduce the spread of cough molecules), and minimize time spent with other people outside your home.


Working From Home: Energy Efficiency Tips for the Home Office

Sheltering in place means a lot more people are working from home. Working from home has some conveniences (sweat pants!), but can also result in higher energy bills, and an absence of IT support.

Here are a few tips to help maintain some energy efficiency while you work from home:

  • Unplug unnecessary electronics when they are not in use (phone chargers, laptops, coffee pots, toasters). Many appliances still draw a small amount of power even if they are switched off – this is called “vampire energy” or a “phantom load”.  Unplugging prevents you from paying for energy you are not using.
  • Use plug strips for electronics to reduce vampire energy. When you use a plug strip for home office electronics like your computer, printer, and monitor, you can turn the plug strip off when you’re done working and that will prevent those electronics from using vampire energy when they are not on.
  • Smart power strips take this practice up a notch, they cut the power for you when they sense items are turned off. They have “always on” outlets so you can have your wireless router plugged in, and it will stay on when the rest of the power switch is off.  They also have “control” outlets, which work great for electronics that have relative uses. If the television is in the control outlet and your gaming consoles are in the other outlets, when the TV is off, power is cut to the other items too.
  • Should you turn your desktop computer off?* There are misconceptions that the energy used when a computer turns on is more than what is used if it is left on. Yes, there is a surge when a computer is turned on, but that is still significantly less energy than what a computer uses when it is left on for a long period of time. Here is a good rule of thumb:
  • Turn off the monitor if you aren’t going to use your PC for more than 20 minutes.  Turn off both the CPU and monitor if you’re not going to use your PC for more than 2 hours.

*Remember, if your zoom meeting worked fine yesterday, but today it is acting funny, and your computer has been on for days – you might try turning it off and on again!


No Rush to Flush

If the only paper product you’re flushing is toilet paper, congratulations! That means 1) you have toilet paper, and 2) you’re doing “disposable” right. But why does it matter – what’s the difference?

Have you ever tried to clean the countertop with toilet paper, only to end up with little damp bits of TP everywhere? Toilet paper is made to break apart quickly once it gets wet. That makes it a poor substitute for tougher paper products, but it does a great deal to prevent clogged pipes. Disposable cleaning wipes, napkins, paper towels, tissues, diapers, and baby wipes are different. If these items fell apart as soon as they got wet, they wouldn’t do their jobs very well at all. These products – even the ones labeled “flushable” – stay intact long after you flush. What’s more, they can trap sticky residues in your pipes, leading to a disastrous build-up. If you flush these items and they make it past your home plumbing, they can travel all the way to the water treatment facility without breaking down. There, they have to be physically removed from the screens, which increases the cost of water treatment. Paper products like these should be disposed of in trash, not in the toilet.

What if you’re out of toilet paper, using other disposable material as a substitute? Even when used in this manner, these materials should not be flushed. Place these items in a plastic bag, and dispose of them in trash.

Please, no wipes in the pipes! Flush only TP.


Get Out!  But Keep Your Distance.

Under the Governor’s “Stay at Home” order, getting outside for exercise is allowable as long as it is done per social distancing rules – stay 6′ away from others. Spring is springing and this is a great time to get out for a hike. The outdoors are good for your mental and physical health.

Keep in mind that all state parks in Illinois are currently closed as is local favorite Merwin Preserve. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get out to hike! We have compiled a map of good hiking options in the central Illinois area that are known to be open. Check out the map at the link below; some are in McLean County but many are not. If you find any errors, feel free to let us know.

Please practice social distancing when hiking and even when traveling to hike – please don’t share a ride with friends or others outside your immediate household. Keep your distance from others you encounter while hiking, and if you arrive and find that a place is crowded, leave and find a less busy place!

Keep in mind that local options are available if you don’t want to go far. While Merwin is closed, multiple ParkLands preserves are still open to the public, as is Sugar Grove Nature Center, these are all good places to hike. Please consider donations to our partner organizations Sugar Grove Nature Center and ParkLands Foundation to help them keep these beautiful places maintained.

Also don’t forget to leave things better than you found them–carrying a trash bag and picking up litter along your way is a great way to help out while enjoying your hike. But wash your hands well and don’t touch your face!

Where to hike during the COVID-19 Pandemic – what’s open?


Help protect local first responders

Effective immediately, the EAC is collecting donations of PPE (personal protective equipment) for local first responders on behalf of our friends at the McLean County Emergency Management Agency.

Items needed include N95 masks, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, single-use gloves, goggles, disposable gowns/aprons, and other sanitizing supplies. Please bag your items and include a note with your name and address to allow for proper acknowledgment from McLean County EMA.

We have two recycling carts sitting outside our back door at our office at 202 W College Avene (approach as if you are entering the back entrance to the Normal Library). These recycling carts are clearly labeled for PPE donations only. Gently drop your items in one of these carts. If you have any questions about what is and isn’t needed, please call McLean County EMA 309-888-5020 or email [email protected].

Thank you for helping protect our local first responders!

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