On Friday, November 2 and Saturday November 3, Friendship Park Conservatory (395 Algonquin Road, Des Plaines) will be hosting an electronic recycling event from 9a.m. to noon both days. Cell phones, digital cameras, fax machines, tv’s, video game units etc. will be accepted at no charge. For a complete list of acceptable items, please visit the Mount Prospect Park District website. For more info call 847-298-3500.
Public Green Blog
Smoke detectors at the end of their lifespan, which is about eight to 10 years according to Earth911, cannot be recycled; many of them are ionization smoke detectors, which have small amounts of radioactive material, Americium 241. The Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County (SWANCC) states on its Smoke Detectors page that “all smoke detectors contain the mail-back address to send used units with radioactive chips,” but now recommends that residents dispose of smoke detectors in their regular trash.
A list of manufacturers that may accept old and used smoke detectors for disposal can be found here: Smoke Detector Disposal Info. However, according to SWANCC, the manufacturers that they contacted simply throw them away and advise residents to just throw them away themselves. Since the amount of radioactive material in ionization smoke detectors is so limited, the EPA does not require special disposal methods for them.
While both Earth 911’s No Smoking and disposal tips page mention Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collection events as acceptable options for smoke detector disposal, both SWANCC and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency state that smoke detectors will not be accepted at such events.
Fire extinguishers also are ineligible for disposal at HHW events, but there are numerous disposal, recycling, and reuse options available to residents. SWANCC states on its Fire Extinguishers page that “[t]hey cannot be discarded curbside,” but they can be recharged, recycled at various locations, possibly through the fire-extinguisher manufacturers and local fire departments, and even in regular residential recycling as long as all contents are discharged and the head is removed—the steel body can then be recycled. However, the Mt. Prospect Fire Department does not recharge, recycle, or otherwise dispose of fire extinguishers and refers people to SWANCC for more information.
Results from recent studies measuring the level of arsenic in rice have been reported by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Consumer Reports. Fairly high amounts were discovered: Consumer Reports declared the results “worrisome” and has recommended that consumer’s limit the amount of rice they eat. The FDA has not made any similiar recommendations, but they are continuing the study to get a larger sample size. Concerned consumers may wish to limit the amount of rice they eat as well as take measures to eliminate some of the arsenic in the cooking process. Two easy methods for reducing arsenic levels are rinsing the rice several times before cooking and cooking the rice in several cups of water and draining off the excess when the rice is finished cooking.
Looking for some new recipe ideas now that summer is waning and cooking season is almost upon us? For healthy and green ideas, try these websites:
Eating Well “Where good taste meets good health.”
Earlier this month, ECOtality, a clean electric transportation and storage technology company, announced that it was partnering with ComEd to give a free residential Blink wall mount charger as well as an installation credit up to $400 to qualified Chicago-area residents who have taken ownership of a Nissan LEAF or Chevy Volt. In exchange for receiving the charger and installation credit, residents are expected to participate in the EV Project, which shares data about both the vehicle and charging units (energy used, time, and duration of charger use). No personal information is shared or included in the data. To learn more about the EV Project program and see if you qualify go to www.theevproject.com.
The Energy Impact Illinois Program, in conjunction with your local utility, offers energy efficiency rebates to residents and businesses to help lower their energy bills. In fact, if you are a residential customer, you may qualify for rebates up to $1,750 for air sealing and building insulation installation. Commercial, industrial, and multifamily complexes can receive incentives based on performance and energy efficiency savings. Go to www.energyimpactillinois.org and use the “Find Energy Savings Actions” tool to see all the programs you qualify for based on your location and home or business type. You can also call 1-855-9-IMPACT (toll-free) to learn more about the program OR set up an appointment to schedule an energy assessment (cost $99). They are open weekdays from 8 am to 5 pm.
School will be starting soon and it is a perfect time to think green. Here are a few Back to School Tips:
•Be careful not overbuy your school supplies, first check and see what is left over from last year.
•Try buying pencils made from reclaimed wood!
•Recycled notebook paper is available at many of the large office and school supply stores.
•Get a reusable bottle for water and juice instead of purchasing plastic water bottles and juice boxes.
•Another reminder, avoid bringing lunch in a paper bag, use a reusable lunch bag, they come in all sorts of great designs now.
•Instead of purchasing those individual size bags of chips and cookies, buy the large bag and use reusable containers to put them in. If you are absolutely addicted to plastic sandwich bags, they can be reused many times.
•Ask your college students to rent or buy used textbooks and of course sell them back at the end of the semester.
•Again for the college student, rent fridges and microwaves instead of purchasing them.
There may be varying opinions as to whether Crocs are a fashion statement or a fashion faux pas. One thing that we can all agree upon is that is that giving them a second life is always a great idea.
Thanks to Crocs, Inc. and Soles4Souls your gently worn Crocs can be given a second life. Souls4Souls will clean and re-donate to people in impoverished nations around the world.
In Illinois you can take your Crocs to the following locations to be recycled:
•Aurora, IL | Chicago Premium Outlet (630) 820-3572
•Chicago, IL | North Bridge, Shops @ (312) 527-1139
•Schaumburg, IL | Woodfield Mall (847) 330-1040
•Vernon Hills, IL | Hawthorn (847) 680-1469
Using the fruits of the summer season is always a temptation. But, does the thought of turning your oven on and up to 350 degrees on a hot day for an hour not seem like a good idea?
Check out these no bake recipes from Martha Stewart that are guaranteed to keep you cool this summer:
Most people do not know the power of vinegar to kill weeds. Vinegar will eliminate weeds without the potential hazards of powerful chemicals. Just spray the vinegar on the leaves of the weeds until they are wet and in a matter of days, the weeds will be dead.
There are two things you should know about using vinegar to kill weeds:
- Vinegar is activated by sunlight. So, check your weather report and try to pick a day when it will be sunny and not raining.
- Vinegar does not discriminate! It will kill ALL plants that it is sprayed on. So, only spray it on the weeds you want to kill. Do not get it on your flowers, tomato plants, etc.
Besides being safe and effective, vinegar is inexpensive. All types of vinegar will work and white vinegar is usually the least expensive.
FYI: Vinegar is great to use to kill the weeds that grow in sidewalk cracks.