10 South Emerson, Mount Prospect, IL 60056 | 847/253-5675

Public Green Blog

Cold Frames

how-to-make-cold-frame-5To get a jump start on harvesting spring vegetables, consider making/buying a cold frame. These are mini greenhouses, usually low to the ground, with glass or plastic panels that can heat up soil so plants can be grown outside much earlier (or later in the fall) than would otherwise be possible. Lots of information is available on the web concerning how to construct a cold frame (search “cold frames”).


yearroundveggardThe Library also has print resources with instructions on building a cold frame: The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener by Niki Jabbour has lots of useful information about cold weather gardening and also includes plans for building a simple cold frame.


By julie collins on February 5, 2014 Categories: Cold Weather, Gardening

Holiday Lights Recycling at Home Depot

Ends on Sunday November 17!  

Bring in your working or non-working incandescent holiday lights into Home Depot between November 7-17 for safe recycling, and receive a $3, $4 or $5 off coupon on energy star LED lights.  More details.

By julie collins on November 12, 2013 Categories: Consumer Choices, Energy, Holidays, Home Decorating, Recycling

Pedal Power Bike Donation Program

Got a bicycle you don’t need anymore?  Here’s a great way to recycle it!  On Saturday (Nov. 2) from 9 a.m. to Noon, several locations in the Northwest suburbs will be accepting bicycle donations as part of the “Pedal Power” program.  These bikes will then go to Chicago Public School students as a reward for good grades.

Nearby drop-off spots include Mike’s Bike Shop in Palatine (155 N. Northwest Hwy.); Glenview Cycle (1011 Harlem Ave.) and Garner Cyclery in Northbrook (1111 Waukegan Rd.) For more information and a complete list of drop-off locations, go to .

By julie collins on October 29, 2013 Categories: Recycling, Transportation

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

Protect your children and responsibly dispose of unwanted and expired prescription drugs on Saturday (Oct. 26) from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. during National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.  The Mount Prospect Police Department (112 E. Northwest Hwy.) is one of 16 police departments participating in the event.   Leave medications in the original container and mark out personal information. Only prescription medications will be accepted – no over-the-counter, liquid medications,or syringes will be accepted. Complete list of collection sites.

By julie collins on October 24, 2013 Categories: Prescription Drugs

Electronics Recycling at Public Works Through the End of October

The Mount Prospect Public Works Department will accept electronics  for recycling every Wednesday between 10 a.m. and noon through the end of October 2013. Accepted items include computers, monitors, DVD players, keyboards, printers, scanners, televisions, VHS players, and zip drives. Unacceptable materials include air conditioners, answering machines, blenders, camcorders, video games, copy machines, digital cameras, home appliances, microwaves, power tools/cords, shredders, stereo equipment and toasters. For more information, call the Public Works Department at 847-870-5640 or email them at

The Public Works Department (1700 W. Central Rd.) also accepts household batteries, compact fluorescent and fluorescent tube lights, and pharmaceuticals for recycling and/or proper disposal. Those materials can be dropped off at the Public Works Building between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

By julie collins on September 24, 2013 Categories: Electronics, Recycling

Document Destruction Event

Dispose of unwanted and sensitive documents on Saturday (Sept. 21) from 9 – 11 a.m. at the Arlington Heights Senior Center (1801 W. Central Rd. AH). There is a limit of six file-size boxes or paper shopping bags per vehicle.  No plastic bags, please. You must be part of a SWANCC member community to participate, so have ID ready. 

By julie collins on Categories: Document Shredding

Proper Disposal of Pharmaceuticals and Medications

According to the Illinois EPA’s Medication Disposal FAQ Page:

“Pharmaceuticals are often [improperly] discarded by throwing them down a drain, toilet, or carelessly into the trash. . . . [They] can end up in our lakes, rivers, streams, and ground water sources. . . . having pharmaceuticals in the water supply can affect the local environment, including aquatic life . . . and can harm humans and wildlife, especially fish and amphibians.”

There are numerous drop-off sites that residents should use to dispose of any unwanted, residential medications and needles; SWANCC instructs residents to “Please keep medications in their original containers, as it is necessary to know what medications the contractor is dealing with.”

Mount Prospect Public Works accepts medications and sharps for disposal from SWANCC’s 23 member communities during normal business hours (Monday – Friday, 7:30AM – 5PM); click here to access the Village of Mount Prospect’s Solid Waste – Additional Recycling Programs page for more details and updates.

For more information about other SWANCC drop-off sites, as well as instructions and restrictions, visit SWANCC’s Pharmaceutical/Sharps Disposal page. For a more state-wide drop-off options in Illinois, visit the Illinois EPA’s medication disposal locations page.

Another option is mailing medical waste in special envelopes and containers. According to this article on the Earth 911 website, CVS sells special envelopes for $3.99 to send unwanted medications to a separate company for disposal; CVS itself does not accept medical waste. They also sell separate containers for disposal of sharps for $6.89 according to the Mt. Prospect CVS location, and it works much the same way as the envelopes.

By julie collins on July 29, 2013 Categories: Prescription Drugs

Electronics Recycling and Document Destruction Events

The Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County (SWANCC) will be providing 3 electronics recycling and document destruction events in June.

Saturday, June 15 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Lincoln Hall School
6950 East Prairie Road (Lincolnwood)

Saturday, June 22 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Elk Grove Village Fire Station #8
1000 Oakton Street (Elk Grove Village)

Saturday, June 29 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Niles Public Services Center
6849 Touhy Avenue (Niles)

For more information on which types of electronics will be accepted for recycling, please visit the Electronics Recycling page on the SWANCC website.

By mreynolds on June 10, 2013 Categories: Community, Electronics, Recycling

Green Reading

The Library has subscribed to a cool new product, Zinio, which allows you to read Mother Earth News, Organic Gardening, and EARTH Magazine, amongst over 50 additional titles, digitally on your computer, tablet or smartphone. For more information, or to start using Zinio, visit the e-Library section of the Mount Prospect Public Library website.

By mreynolds on June 4, 2013 Categories: Uncategorized

Solar-Powered Boat Makes Second Voyage Across the Atlantic

PlanetSolar, maker of the world’s largest solar-powered boat, Tûranor, completed its second voyage across the Atlantic on May 18. Tûranor completed the 2867 mile voyage from Las Palmas, Spain, to St. Martin in the French West Indies in 22 days. For more information, and some cool pictures, take a look at the article featured on Earth911.

By mreynolds on May 31, 2013 Categories: Uncategorized