Recycling: Beyond the "Bin Wins"
The one who has the most in their recycling bin wins! I have to admit I used to play this little mind game with myself every recycling pickup day as I compared my overflowing green bins (I had two!) to all of my neighbors’. But all that has changed (and ended my “bin wins” game) with the new covered bins recently introduced in Arlington Heights. I recently looked out my window just in time to see the recycling jaws of the Groot truck pluck the 65-gallon bin from the curb, hoist it into the air and easily toss the entire contents into the truck. Amazing! I love these new stylin’ bins. They are covered, do not fill up so quickly, have wheels, and I know that stuff won’t be blowing all over the street come recycling day. Now that the village has made it easier for us to step it up a notch with our recycling efforts, I find myself feeling a lot more conscientious about doing more of it.
But not everything can go into that shiny new cart. We also have to be more conscientious about a growing issue – electronics recycling. I’m guessing there’s a fair number of you that recently started using at least one of the fun, new gadgets on the market these days – smart phones, e-readers, tablets, etc. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that more than 40 million computers become obsolete and are discarded every year. However, only 15 percent of these are recycled. Recycling all of the outdated electronics like cell phones, laptops, CD players, and iPods has become more important than ever. Not only do these discards create excess waste, but also introduce corrosive chemicals into landfills, which can seep into the ground.
The Library is here to help. Last Friday on Earth Day we began two recycling programs. We are collecting small electronics for an indefinite period of time, in partnership with Recycling Avenue, an organization that is run by a group of physically challenged young adults. Also during the month of May, we are partnering with EYEsee in collecting used eyeglasses for their medical missions to Third World countries. Look for both recycling bins near the Checkout Desk.
If you live in A.H. or in any of the nearby suburbs and would like to know more about other recycling options and locations, check out the website for SWANCC – the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County. Did you know that:
- If you have large electronics like TVs or computers to recycle, you can drop them off at one of their nearby recycling sites.
- If you have more than just a few items, they’ll arrange to pick up items at your home.
There’s even a free app now for your smart phone – iRecycle – that provides access to more than 800,000 recycling and disposal resources plus information on trends and ideas about recycling.
Check back here soon to learn more about Our Voices, Green Choices. We’d love to share your recycling thoughts and ideas so join in the conversations both here and on our Facebook page.