Start Recycling In Your Community.


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I am in the Chicago area visiting my wife’s family and I have just discovered something horrible – this area does not have a recycling program. None at all! Everything, including aluminum cans, glass jars, plastic bottles and all paper products, is thrown into the trash. Once the trash gets picked up, it goes right to the landfill and gets buried and/or burnt – nothing is sorted through and recycled. There is no place for anyone to take their recyclables even if they wanted to, which is terribly depressing. My mother-in-law knows about our “green-ness” and has started greening many aspects in her own home, but the recycling one just cannot be done.

Once we get back to Los Angeles, I am going to look into why this area of Illinois does not have a recycling program and what can possibly be done about it. The City of Chicago prides itself on being a “green” city, installing roof-top gardens and bike paths and preserving tons of open space, so you would think that they would be concerned with what the outlying suburbs are doing.

I guess the reason I am writing this here is to encourage anyone who lives in a town or city that does not have a recycling program to get involved and try to help create one. Recycling has to be easy for the average person to want to do. And when cities and towns make it difficult or impossible to do, tons of excess trash gets buried or burnt instead of recycled, which leads to more toxins in the groundwater and our air. One of the most important things any of us can do is to encourage our towns, and thus their citizens, to start recycling.

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  1. It’s sad to say but most of Illinois is behind in things of this nature. I know it CAN be done because most of Iowa does it but it just isn’t done here in Illinois. In central Illinois there is a kinda sorta program – you take your items to a central point (most towns have one somewhere) for recycling. These recycling points are not “advertised” by the city in ANYWAY, not even to new residents! And they are only emptied about once a week – these are the size of a dumpster for a town of less than 1,000. Sadly, this doesn’t include any type of glass either.

  2. Thanks for the info Anne – I am going to write to the Mayor of the city I was in and ask, but I think it is kind of a useless venture. It is amazing to me that there are still communities in this country that don’t recycle!

  3. Yes, Chicago is really good about it. It’s those outer communities that tend not to recycle. Sad to hear about NW Indiana too, I wonder what town…:-)

  4. Chicago is pretty good about recycling, but as you mentioned, the outlying counties/communities need to do more to follow their lead. I heard there are communities in NW Indiana that don’t either…

  5. I am trying to help my mother get a recycling program started in her small town. She wants to go to the city council meeting to propose this, but wants to go in educated and with a plan. Can anyone help me with a website or where to go to get info on how to start recycling in a community? Thank you.

  6. i think recycling is a very important job in the united states and all around the world. today in my 8 grade science class we are celebrating earth day and so we are helping out our community by cleaning up on the sides of the road. so be a part of the community and lend a hand.

  7. I am also interested in any information that would help me go to city council meeting with a plan and something intelligent to say. I know the council will have tough questions about how the program will run and I want to be prepared to offer suggestions and help the effort be successful.

  8. I live in a small town in Texas where we only have one place to drop off recyclables- and which is only paper. We can drive 10 miles into town to drop off cardboard, plastic, ect, but I want to try to get more places here to recycle more things because I think it’s why most people do not recycle. I’ve started a recycling club at my high school (which is where the paper can be dropped off) but the school refuses to buy trashcans or anything for the cafeteria for plastic due to the cost. I am trying very hard to get the town to recycle, but I feel like I have to start at school and work my way out. & it is a little hard because I’m young and no one will listen!

    Anyone help?? Please 🙂

    1. That is great that you started doing it at school; sometimes it is the younger people that can start these great movements. Keep doing what you are doing, and if it starts working, maybe ask some local small businesses to help support the bigger picture. Good luck!

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