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Earth Day Aprill 22Happy Earth Day!

Aprril 22 is Earth Day. Also time for spring cleaning. Wondering what to do with unwanted "stuff"? Keep reading ...

How to Get Rid of "Stuff" and Keep It Out Of the Landfill

If you need to sell it,  list it on Craig's list. If not,  donate it and bless someone else or recycle it.  Here's how:

Is it good shape? Find a resale shop. Most resale shops take clothes, shoes, accessories, household goods, sports equipment, dishes, kitchen gadgets, toys, knick knacks, small working household appliances (NOT big TV's or computer monitor, even if they work) Click links for hours and more detailed lists.

Some things just shouldn't go in the landfill. Period. These include old medicine, cleaning chemicals, oil based paints, and weed killers. We're lucky to have a nearby Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) disposal every weekend in Naperville. Learn more at these websites:

  • Naperville Hazardous Waste Dropoff - Jefferson and Forthill (Not in the Fire Station Anymore). They made the drop-off bigger so cars can move thru more quickly - open Sat and Sunday mornings.
  • Medicine Disposal - at many local police stations (not Warrenville), and HHW- Dump all the pills into a ziplock bag. - April 30 is Drug Take Back Day. There additional drop of locations on the DEA website

There's another category of "stuff". Not good for the resale shop, but too good for the landfill. These items are still made of natural resources (e.g. keys, small metal pieces, lawn chairs, books) or are things that someone might be able to use (pens, blank paper, crayons, games, puzzles, yarn, glue, craft supplies, books, file folders, tools, lawn furniture .....). Here are places to get rid of of stuff that's too good to throw away:

  • Warrenville Ace Hardware - Electronics Recycling box in back of store (small items, NO TV's) and CFL light bulbs
  • Warrenville Public Library: Books and DVD's (in good shape), eye glasses (including sunglasses) for Lions club
  • Bike Rodeo - May 15 - Recycle Bikes Here
  • SCARCE in Glen Ellyn has BookRescue, Tools for Schools and Super Crayons projects - Tools for Schools is for any supplies that a teacher might use in a classroom, including any and all books, paper, pens, pencils & crayons, game pieces or groups of other small things for kids to count / manipulate, anything that could be used for craft projects, any office supplies, buttons, sewing machines, sewing supplies and more. See  Tools for Schools List. Also Book Rescue takes all books. Books for kids are distributed to teachers, for classroom use, and SCARCE finds homes for other books, or recycles those that are in bad shape. All Crayons are used by the Super Crayons project.
  • SCARCE in Glen Ellyn Recycles odds and ends recyling - Keys, flags, records, small metal pieces, cell phones, lights & cords (all year), pens (broken or not), crayons (brokens or not)
  • Freecycle- Join the Warrenville Group - post what you want to give away - "one person's trash is another person's treasure" - You make arrangements for them to pick it up
  • Food Panty in Immanual Church - non-perishables that you won't use (that are still good) - open Tuesday mornings
  • People's Resource Center in Wheaton - food, clothes, computers (critial need for working computers), books
  • Sharing Connections - Furniture and Household Items - they will pickup
  • Good shopping bags - Resale shops including Discoveries (above)
  • Bubble Wrap & Peanuts - UPS and other packaging stores (call first)
  • Hangers - return to cleaners (call first)

Just Want to Recycle It? Find a Recycling Extravaganza!

What is a recycling extravaganza? An event, usually sponsored by a community or municipal group, where residents can bring unwanted "stuff" to be recycled. It's a "drive-thru" for recycling.

What can you recycle? Each event has its own list of items. Read the flyer for the event or go to their webpage to get the details. Typical items include:

  • Scrap Metal
  • Eye Glasses (Lyons Club usually collects and distributes)
  • Electronics (Look Carefully! Usually electronics are considered to be anything with a battery or cord, but each event has different requirements. Although old monitors and TVs are illegal to put in the landfill, many events cannot take them either).
  • Old Bikes
  • Garden Tools
  • Medical Equipment
  • Books
  • Pet Supplies
  • American Flags
  • Many More - check your event listings

Where to items go?  Some items go to commercial recyclers (e.g. scrap metal and electronics) , and others are collected by charities, whose mission includes getting the items to people in need (e.g. eye glasses, books, bikes, garden tools, books, medical equipment, pet supplies)

How does it work?  Stations are set up for each type of item.  As you drive thru the parking lot, volunteers unload items at each station. Some events you drive right thru, and some get very popular, so you might get into a traffic backup. It's  hard to predict. Volunteers are needed too.  If you see and event, and you'd like to volunteer, contact the coordinator, or one of the charities collecting items.

When to these events occur? Most events are on Saturday mornings in the Spring and Fall. There are also some communities that have ongoing drop-off locations.

Upcoming Events - Spring 2016

Annual Events

Ongoing Events

  • Wheaton: Second Saturday each month. 9-noon at the Public Works - small electronics, cooking oil, scrap metal and more (no TV's or hazardous waste).

Additional Resources

If you are looking for more information, check out these websites. It is illegal to put TV's into the landfill, it's difficult to find places to recycle them, and the information is always changing.

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