As the warm spring winds inspire us to throw open our windows and clean up our homes, we often encounter objects that we aren’t sure how to properly dispose of, such as paint, electronics, batteries, furniture and other potentially toxic products. Luckily, the City of Evanston has programs for disposing of these abnormal objects that can be utilized in order to save toxic materials from our city’s landfills.
Click each item to read below about how the City can help you dispose of waste not processed through regular curbside delivery.
Along with the Share-a-Bag program and Trex, the City of Evanston has put out recycling bins for old plastic bags and plastic film, which are not recyclable in the normal curbside program.
WHERE: Specially marked plastic film recycling containers that can be found at the following locations: the Main Evanston Public Library, the North Branch Library, the Chicago Ave./Main St. Branch Library, the Morton Civic Center, the Chandler-Newberger Center, the Ecology Center, the Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center, the Gibbs-Morrison Cultural Center, the Levy Senior Center, the Noyes Cultural Arts Center and the Robert Crown Center.
WHEN: See the City’s website for posted center hours
Light bulbs are not recyclable through Evanston’s curbside recycling program, because of the health risks associated with the trace amounts of mercury inside the bulb. However, in partnership with the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County (SWANCC), the City accepts compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) for recycling at special drop-off locations.
WHAT THE CITY RECYCLES: Compact fluorescent light bulbs, not incandescent
WHERE: The Levy Center or the Ecology Center
WHEN: During normal business hours for drop-off. More information on the city’s light bulb recycling is available on the City’s website here.
Batteries are not recyclable through Evanston’s curbside recycling program, because of the health risks associated with their toxic components. However, in partnership with the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County (SWANCC), the City accepts batteries for recycling at special drop-off locations.
WHAT THE CITY RECYCLES: Batteries, types AA, AAA, C, D and rechargeable types 9 Volt, NiCad, NiMh, lithium ion, and lithium polymer
WHERE: The Levy Center or the Ecology Center
WHEN: During normal business hours for drop-off. More information on the city’s battery recycling program is available here.
Instead of letting your old appliances gather dust and rust in the garage, call the City of Evanston to have them pick up large kitchen appliances free of charge.
WHAT THE CITY RECYCLES: Washers, dryers, ovens, ranges, dishwashers and refrigerators.
WHERE AND WHEN: You may request an appliance pickup any time at your house by calling 311 or (847) 448-4311 or requesting an appliance pick up here.
COST: Free. For small electronics like televisions, the city may charge a small fee for pick-up, but many large thrift stores and donation centers will not.
Consumer electronics, laptops and smartphones, make up almost 2 percent of the municipal solid waste stream, according to the EPA, which estimates that the quantity of electronic waste that we are generating is steadily increasing. The City of Evanston has partnered with Recycling Avenue, an organization that provides job opportunities for the physically challenged, to collect electronic waste for recycling.
WHAT THE CITY RECYLCES: Cell phones, cordless phones, digital cameras, video recorders, laptop computers, MP3 players and ink cartridges
WHERE: The Levy Center and Ecology Center
WHEN: During normal business hours. For more information on electronic recycling, look at the City’s website here.
In the second and third weeks of April every spring, the City of Evanston conducts a bulk trash pick-up to gather all the casualties of spring cleaning.
WHAT THE CITY RECYCLES: Up to six cubic yards of waste, which can include furniture. The city will not collect hazardous materials such as batteries, gas, oil, medical wastes or paint during bulk trash pickup, nor will it collect tires, appliances, electronics or construction material.
WHERE: At your parkway or alley line, as crews cannot go on private property. The trash should be placed neatly and compactly, meaning in bags, containers or bundles.
WHEN: Check out the city’s website to find your household’s exact day for bulk trash pick-up.
ALTERNATIVES TO RECYCLING: Old furniture can also be donated so that someone else can give it a second life away from the landfill. Most large thrift stores near Evanston have donation centers that accept furniture, and some may even come to your house and pick up your furniture for you! Or try and salvage your furniture yourself with some DIY upcycling.
In coordination with the Save A Star Drug Awareness Foundation, the Evanston Police Department has a recycling drop-off point for medications.
WHAT THE CITY RECYCLES: Prescription medications, controlled substances, over-the-counter and pet medications, samples, vitamins, liquids and creams
WHERE: In the front lobby of the Police Department
WHEN: 24 hours a day
WHAT ABOUT NEEDLES AND SHARPS?: The Evanston Fire Department is open during normal business hours to collect used needles and sharps. The City’s website has more information here.
Paint & Other Toxins
The City of does not have a paint recycling center, and instead encourages residents to bring paint or other hazardous household items to one of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s collection sites around the Chicagoland area.
WHAT THE IEPA RECYCLES: Harsh chemical cleaners, paint thinners, antifreeze, weed killers, insecticides and pesticides
WHERE: Chicago, Naperville and Rockford
WHEN: On Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, visit the IEPA’s website.