A press release from the Environment Defenders of McHenry County:
ABOUT THOSE DEFENDERS’ RECYCLING DRIVES
WOODSTOCK – On Saturday, May 14, 2016 the Environmental Defenders of McHenry County (EDMC), who has held recycling drives in McHenry County since the early 1970s, held their drive for the first time in Lake in the Hills at the Public Works Department.
Thanks to their spectacular volunteers and the assistance received from Lake in the Hills, they were able to collect 11,000 pounds of TVs and monitors in addition to the other items usually collected: household and auto batteries, fluorescent tubes and bulbs, styrofoam, all kinds of tapes, CDs and DVDs, and used clothing and tennis shoes.
More than 100 cars brought items to be recycled.
Recycling drives are being scheduled in different towns throughout McHenry County for the remainder of the year. On June 11, they will be in Harvard at the Village Hall, 201 W. Diggens Street and on July 9 in Algonquin at Jacobs High School. Arrangements are being made to come to a town near you in the future.
EDMC’s Waste Reduction Committee, who run the drives, has this to say:
“We believe that it is a bad idea to throw solid waste materials in a hole in the ground when they could become another product.”
A landfill has the potential to leak and cause problems for our groundwater, soil and air. Our focus is to reduce consumption, reuse what we can and recycle the rest. Recycled materials are used to create new products. Creating that new product can also create jobs.
During our drives we are often asked a few questions:
1. Why can’t I just throw my TV in the garbage?
Electronics, including TVs and computer monitors, are full of toxic stuff like lead, cadmium, mercury, and arsenic which can pollute our water supply. It’s against the law. It’s wrong. It’s irresponsible.
2. Why do you ask for a donation for some items?
We ask for a donation because we are a non-profit and need to cover our costs. EDMC pays $3000-$3500 per month to get everything hauled to the recyclers – the people who take apart the TVs and monitors we bring them. EDMC receives no government funding and the recycling events are run entirely on donations. We could not afford to provide this service
3. Wouldn’t it be cheaper to just throw it in the landfill?
Not really. A landfill has to be maintained by either a private owner or the government (in other words, us, the taxpayers). It has to be inspected to check for leaking and other problems, again, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), meaning us the taxpayers. When an existing landfill is full, other land must be found and acquired. Taxpayers pay for that.
According to the IEPA the landfills in our area have about 10 years of life left in them. Does anyone want a landfill near their property? Does anyone want to pay to have solid waste materials hauled far away (another cost to the taxpayer) when a site nearby is not found?
Recycling should and can provide many opportunities, including jobs, which must be better than throwing reusable materials away. After all, the recyclable materials have a dollar value through the process of manufacturing the products we consume. We pay that price when we buy the product. It seems it would be better to make another product from that material rather than throw it away, don’t Founded in 1970, the Environmental Defenders of McHenry County is a citizen organization
dedicated to the preservation and improvement of the environment. The group provides community residents with educational programs and volunteer action on pollution prevention, sustainable land use and energy and natural resource conservation. Donations are encouraged and are tax-deductible as charitable contributions. For more information, visit www.mcdef.org or call 815-338- 0393.