Public Green Category: Recycling

Tidy your Home for the Holidays the Green Way

Now’s the time to start thinking about getting your house in order for the holidays.

Do you have a bunch of electronics and small household appliances that are no longer working or are out-of-date? The SWANCC (Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County) Glenview Transfer Station at 1151 N River Road, Des Plaines (across from Maryville Academy) will accept many items for recycling, including all computer-related devices and small household appliances (see here for a detailed list and more information). Any resident from a SWANCC member community can drop off items every Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Have a bunch of nonworking holiday lights or are switching to LEDs? Mount Prospect Public Works (1700 W. Central) will begin accepting holiday lights for recycling starting November 2 through February 29, 2016. Lights will be accepted 7:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Do you have old paint cans, household cleaners/chemicals and old garden pesticides to get rid of? The Illinois EPA has collection sites for these hazardous household waste items. Note: latex paint is not a hazardous material and can be discarded in your regular trash. Just make sure the paint is hardened by leaving the lid off, or to speed up the process you can add cat litter or saw dust.

Cleaning out your closet and dressers and kitchen cabinets? Many organizations take clothing and household donations on a regular basis. SWANCC has a list in the local area for drop-off or pick up.

Sorting through your books? Most public libraries, including the Mount Prospect Public Library, will accept book donations throughout the year. It’s best to call ahead and make sure donations are being accepted on a given day before you haul them out of your home.

And remember that the Mount Prospect Public Library is a drop-off for used personal care product packaging, cell phones and ink-jet cartridges, eyeglasses and keys.

Start Saving Your Personal Care Product Packaging

Starting April 20 Mount Prospect Public Library will be collecting hair care, skin care, and cosmetic product packaging to be recycled through TerraCycle.

TerraCycle is “an international upcycling and recycling company that collects difficult-to-recycle packaging and products and repurposes the material into affordable, innovative products…TerraCycle works with more than 100 major brands in the U.S. and 22 countries overseas to collect used packaging and products that would otherwise be destined for landfills. ”

A designated box will be located in the inner lobby of the Library to collect acceptable packaging.


EcoATM’s are automated electronic recycling stations. You can sell your old/unwanted electronic devices (phones, mp-3 players, tablets) by placing them in ecoATM kiosks, and if you accept the dollar amount, you will get paid instantly. The closest ecoATM’s to Mount Prospect are in Woodfield and Golf Mill Malls. For more information and to find other specific locations:

End of School Year Tips to Reduce Waste

The end of the school year is just about here.  It will soon be time for locker clean-out in many area schools.  You can help to prevent a lot of waste and make this ritual an eco-friendly project.  Here are some tips from the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County along with a PDF you can download to help you and your schools with this process.  According to SWANCC this can be the biggest waste day of the entire school year.

E-Cycling Event at the Friendship Park Conservatory

Do you have old electronics around your house that you don’t know what to do with? You can drop them off for recycling at the Friendship Park Conservatory on Friday, April 11, or Saturday, April 12. Drop off times for both days are from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. For more information, call 847-298-3500 or check out this detailed list of what is and is not accepted.

Paint Recycling Program

Is your garage or basement cluttered with cans of leftover paint you have no intention of using? If passed, new legislation in Illinois could help fund a paint recycling program that would create more drop-off locations, many of which would be conveniently located at retail establishments. To help fund the program, consumers would pay a small fee when purchasing paint. Currently, there are similar programs in seven other states. For more information, check out this brief article featured on Earth911. You can also check the status of the House Bill (HB5457) and Senate Bill (SB1705).

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 .

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.