Make every day Earth Day. Small steps can mean big changes.
Appliances (Large) –If buying a new one, retailer will haul away and recycle the old one. Check out www.abt.com/help/green-program and www.abt.com/rebates/comed-rebates . Home Depot recycles appliances, tools, light bulbs. Call ahead to confirm.
Bikes – The Wheel Thing, 417 N La Grange Road in LaGrange Park, sends old bikes and parts to Working Bikes www.workingbikes.org
Books & Stuff – Drive up to the front door of the La Grange Public Library and a volunteer will gratefully accept your donations of gently used books, puzzles, games and especially kids’ books. Tax receipts available upon request. All donations should be bagged or boxed. If your school bookstore doesn’t recycle your prior year textbooks and give you a credit toward your new texts, try Follett Textbooks 1433 International Parkway in Woodridge, 60517 (877)899-8550. www.follettlearning.com Follett HQ are in Westchester at 3 Westbrook Corporate Center, Suite 200, 60154; 708 884-0000.
Bras –The lingerie store, Soma at Oak Brook Center, donates new and gently used bras to women who are homeless, impoverished or subject to domestic abuse. If the bras are not in good enough condition to be reused, Soma will donate them to The Bra Recyclers, another non-profit that specializes in recycling all the parts of the bra (cloth, fasteners, etc.)
Bread Tags – Fill a gallon jar with these and a child gets a free wheelchair. (Check out Danielle Cares for Chairs in Carmel, IN for a great story.) Such tags are part of the “Perpetual Plastics” problem (PFAS). PFAS is a family of chemicals comprised of over 5,000 compounds. Bring your bread tags to the Go Green table at the La Grange Farmers Market for recycling.
Cars –Consider Habitat for Humanity www.habitat.org/support/donate-your-car call 877 277-4344 for pickup, fixup and resale to finance future Habitat homes.
Clothing – Resale Closest Closet, 46 S La Grange Road, grants members the ability to turn your gently used clothing and accessories into currency. A membership gives you access to all the items posted in the closets of fellow members. Every item posted earns the seller a credit called a hanger (or hangers depending on the value of the item). Hangers are available for use immediately toward other Closest Closet member items. The Hope Chest, 305 W Hillgrove, an upscale resale shop, accepts clothing and accessories for resale. Proceeds benefit Pillars. Kelsey Resale Boutique at 22 W Burlington accepts clothing and accessories on consignment.
Cradles to Crayons – has a collection box in First United Methodist Church La Grange lobby, chapel entrance at 100 W Cossitt. Open normally from 9:00am to 5:00pm weekdays and Sunday morning. They supply new and like-new clothing, books, school supplies, diapers, etc. to children in Chicago. The Church preschool families keep the box full most of the time, https://www.cradlestocrayons.org/chicago/take-action/donate-goods/items-we-accept/ they provided a supplemental list on their website to help people recycle items that Cradle to Crayons will not accept, like furniture.
Corks – Go Green La Grange collects corks for several purposed related to recycling and makes monthly cork pick ups from local restaurants. You can drop off your corks at the Go Green table of the weekly La Grange Farmers Market. www.recork.org.
Cooking Oil – whether it’s oil from that deep-fried 22 lb turkey or deep-fried Twinkies, the leftover oil can be deposited in the Mahoney Bin in the alley just South of TATES Old Fashioned Ice Cream behind Aging Care Connections. Other locations? www.mahoneyES.com or 800 892-9392.
Electronics – Best Buy (11 Cityside Plaza, Countryside) will take electronics for recycling: computers, printers, cartridges, game consoles, TVs (with limitations) for a fee. 708-352-5977 or call2recycle@bestbuy. Naperville Public Works & Fire Department will accept electronics on weekdays (7:00am – 3:00pm) with a fee for certain electronics such as CRTs, flat screen TVs and others.
Eyeglasses & Hearing Aids– LIONS Club on 22d & York collects used eyeglasses and hearing aids. Drop off boxes in lobby. Eye Mechanix at 52 S La Grange Road accepts donations of eyeglasses. Recycle contact lens packaging at Family Vision Care at 100 Calendar Ave. in La Grange. Collect plastic lens containers and foil seals in separate bags (e.g., plastic grocery bags) and drop off in the office’s vestibule.
Flags – Old and torn flags can be recycled at the American Legion Post 1941 at 900 S La Grange Road in Countryside. Deposit in the marked mailbox in the parking lot.
Film – If you inherited the old 8mm and 16mm film and photos of your Chicago youth (and nobody wants them), consider donation to the Chicago Film Archives (Brian Belek -email@example.com -312 243-1808). You lose copyright. Details at www.chicagofilmarchives.org If old LaGrange footage, contact the La Grange Area Historical Society.
Flowers – Fresh flowers that are worth recycling can brighten someone’s day. Contact Interfaith Community Partners and they will get them (and the vase) to deliver to a shut in at home or hospital. 708 354-9328
Furniture – BEDS Plus will accept donations of used furniture in very good condition on a limited basis and depending on current needs. Smaller items are preferred. Photos of items are required. BEDS Plus does not have storage space for furniture. Pick up of approved items may be up to 60 days. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss a potential furniture donation.
Go Green La Grange at the La Grange Farmers Market – Go Green La Grange has a weekly table at the market for collection of corks, shoes and other recyclable items. Every Thursday morning during the LG Farmers Market through October. “Like” their Facebook page for the weekly schedule of items collected.
Goodwill on Wolf & 31st will take LCD screen TVs, furniture, small appliances, footwear, clothes; check out their website and click “Goodwill Donation Guidelines” They take many items for discount resale and then recycle leftovers. NOT exercise equipment; nor coat hangers; best to call ahead. https://www.amazinggoodwill.com/donating/donor-guidelines
Guns/Bullets: Call ahead to the La Grange Police Dept. to set a time to drop off that old gun (and/or bullets).
Hangers (metal) – Ruby Cleaners at 6 Burlington Avenue east of La Grange Road recycles hangers.
Hazardous Household Chemicals – Naperville; 156 Fort Hill Drive (immediately North of Naperville Public Works), DuPage County, www.naperville.il.us/hhw.asp. Saturdays 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM, Sundays 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM, Phone: 630-420-6095. Some materials, like paint, are limited to Saturdays and Wednesdays from 8:00 until 5:00. Other hazardous household materials, like paints, pesticides, etc are limited to Saturdays and Wednesdays from 8:00 until 5:00.
Light Bulbs/CFL/Tubes – Menards and Home Depot accepts lightbulbs for recycling.
Pumpkins – SMASH in November, usually the first Saturday after Halloween. Drop at the La Grange Park Public Works facility South of 31st and the tracks.
Mattresses – It is estimated that 40 million mattresses are thrown away each year in the USA and most go directly to a landfill. Most consumers don’t know that 80% of a mattress can be recycled. One way to stay out of a landfill, is to invest in a mattress that will last 10 – 20 years with solid warranties. The local Quality Sleep Shop and award-winning My Green Mattress offer a 20-year warranty. They will also pick up your old mattress and recycle and dispose of them responsibly.
Medical equipment – Project C.U.R.E. www.projectcure.org in Woodridge. Beds, crutches, sleep apnea equipment, as well as other listed items on their web site.
Makeup – Drop off your skin care products, compacts, makeup jars, bottles, tubes, at the Beauty Dept of the Oak Brook Nordstrom; if you use MAC Cosmetics, you can drop at ULTA, MACYs or NORDSTROM.
Metal – Rebar, wiring, crowbar, steel file cabinet, gutters & downspouts, metal coat hangers, lead pipes. They can generate instant cash at United Scrap(recyclers) at 1545 S Cicero (North of 22d/Cermak) 708 708 6800. Open from 6 to 6 weekdays.
Musical Instruments – can be recycled at SCARCE, 800 Rohlwing Rd in Addison. Find out more about the items that can be recycled at SCARCE, email@example.com. https://www.scarce.org/accepted-items/
Needles –Westmont Police Dept – 500 N. Cass. Dropoff in a container sealed with duct tape on M-Fri from 8:00 until 3:00. Sharps should never be thrown loosely into the trash or toilet. Sharps should never be recycled.
Plastic Bags – Near the entrance door to most grocery stores (Jewel, Marianos, Trader Joes, Target. Etc), there should be a receptacle clearly marked for disposal of plastic bags.
Pop Tops (Aluminum) from beer and soft drink cans. Put in plastic bag and hold onto collection until the Farmers Market opens and then bring to the Go Green LaGrange table.
Prescription Drugs: La Grange Police Department accepts bagged medications, not syringes or liquids. Can be dropped off in lobby at any time.
Prescription containers – Walgreens at 2 N. La Grange Road as long as labels are removed.
Recycling Center: Major center for recycling is called SCARCE (Addison, IL). This is an award-winning environmental education nonprofit dedicated to creating sustainable communities. Here’s a partial list of what they will recycle:
- LP Records
- Holiday Lights
- Music CDs with cases, commercial only
- DVD movies with cases, commercial only, no home recordings
- Keys (household, luggage, car)
- Inkjet cartridges (No toners)
- Cords & wires (phone, computer, etc)
- Bikes, Bike parts & accessories
- X-ray, MRI, and Lithographic Film
- Eyeglasses & Sunglasses (no cases)
- Hearing Aids
- Plastic Bread Tags
- School supplies: new/like-new
- Office supplies: new/like-new
- Paper: unused, all kinds
- Writing Utensils: pens, pencils, markers etc
- Art Supplies: unused/like-new only
- Poster board – unused/like-new
- Like-new games, puzzles, flash cards
- White boards, cork boards
- Musical Instruments
- 35mm Film Canisters
- Box Tops for Education
- Metal Jewelry
- See below for more items
SCARCE also participates in unique recycling programs through Terracycle which includes commercial services with local pick up and drop off points avarecycling.com. Chicago Asset Recycling & Data Shred chicagoshredder.com. Find out more about SCARCE here.
Shoes –JAYNE La Grange at 20 W Harris has a drop off box for used footwear just inside front door during business hours. They get reconditioned or repurposed. Find out more. www.Soles4souls.org
Solar –Illinois Solar Energy Assn for information on recycling the sun hitting your roof. Check out IllinoisShines.com. Also consider community solar options (CSP) – especially the ones that promise to plant milkweed under the panels to attract the Monarch butterflies.
Sporting Equipment – Peacepassers accepts gently used soccer equipment including balls, shoes, shin guards, gloves, sets of team jerseys and shorts plus more. Contact PeacePassersinfo@gmail.com and provide the following information in your email inquiry: Summary of items you plan to donate: Please list total # of cleats, balls, or uniforms and whether the items are sizes for kids, teens, or adults. Please provide your shipping location (City, State). If your child grows out of those expensive hockey skates or has upgraded to a more expensive tennis racket, consider Play It Again Sports in Westmont (233 W Ogden) 630-810-9811. Check the website to see what they currently need – and you might get some trade-in money, too.
Styrofoam – On the first Saturday of every month, volunteers accept drop-offs of clean Styrofoam between 10:00 and 12:00 near the Western Springs Community Center, just north of the BNSF tracks.
Tires –If you buy tires for your car, Discount, Firestone, Costco will recycle your old ones for a fee in the $3.00 to $5.00 range.
Tools – The Chicago Tool Library is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. They have over 2,500 tools you can borrow – from table saws to sewing machines to camping tents. They accept donations of used tools. Generous terms on returns and breaks of borrowed stuff 1048 W 37th St Ste #102 Chicago, IL 60609 | 773.242.0923 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Toys –LEGO – Donate your used bricks and you can help share the power of play to children who need it most. Go to https://www.givebackbox.com/lego/. Or you can bring your used LEGOS to the La Grange Farmers Market and drop at the Go Green LaGrange table. Bring old shoes and wine corks too.
Vases – a local flower shop accepts flower vases and clay pots as a policy to help the environment. Maria’s Floral Studio at 26 Arcade Place. 708 352-5262. Small containers can be dropped off at Interfaith Community Partners located on the second floor of the First Presbyterian Church of La Grange. www.interfaithcommunityparteners.org (708) 354 9328. Large vases for flowers can also be dropped on the front porch at 143 S Ashland Ave. LaGrange.
Recycling resources have been assembled with assistance from Go Green La Grange, a NFP Corp.