The Downers Grove Park District, in partnership with the Village of Downers Grove, conducted a Recycling Extravaganza on Saturday, September 26, 2009. The event, which was first held in 2008, is designed to divert toxic materials and otherwise reusable goods from refuse landfills by providing residents with an eco-friendly way to dispose of things like old televisions and used baby furniture.
Recyclable material was collected from 1760 cars over the course of the six hour event. Used electronics comprised the bulk of overall items collected. SIMS Recycling Solutions of West Chicago reported that 141,607 pounds of electronics were collected. SIMS uses paid personnel to retrieve, sort and prepare for transport the unwanted electronics. Sponsorship funding provided by the Downers Grove Park District will cover these labor costs.
Over 100 community volunteers also participated in retrieving other recyclable items from visitors’ cars. CFL light bulbs, gently used baby furniture, used but still working medical equipment like crutches and wheelchairs, alkaline batteries, hearing aids, eyeglasses and American flags were all collected and sorted by this small army of “green-minded” assistants.
The list below reflects the totals for the various categories of items collected as reported by the company or non-for-profit organization that has assumed responsibility for their safe recycling or disposal:
- 200 eyeglasses and 5 hearing aids (Downers Grove Noon Lions Club)
- 117 American flags (Century Post 503, Veterans of Foreign Wars)
- (3) 18-gallon bins of CFL light bulbs (ACE Hardware took these)
- 18 cribs, 17 dressers, 2 end tables, 1 entertainment center, 1 rocking chair and other decorative items (Sharing Connections)
- 4 wheel chairs, 25 walkers, and 50 pairs of crutches (Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs)
- 177 pallets (equal to 6 full-size, semi-tractor trailers) with 141,607 pounds of electronics (SIMS Recycling Solutions)
- 233 automotive size battery cores (Exide Technologies)
- 2,567 pounds of alkaline and rechargeable batteries (Downers Grove Park District)
Special thanks to the following organizations/agencies for their participation: SIMS Recycling Solutions, DuPage County, Sharing Connections Furniture Bank, Exide Technologies, Downers Grove Noon Lions Club, Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, SCARCE , Century Post 503 Veterans of Foreign Wars.
The organizers also wish to thank Dunkin Donuts and Trader Joe’s for donating food and beverages to the event.
For more information about this event, contact Downers Grove Park District Public Information Supervisor Brandi Nice at (630) 963-1300 or Downers Grove Communications Director Doug Kozlowski at (630) 434-5550.