On May 28, 2015, the city of Elgin began installing twelve Monofilament Fishing Line Recycling Stations along the Fox River and at Hawthorne Hills Nature Center in Elgin. The idea for these recycling stations came from the Elgin Police Department’s Animal Control Unit after several incidents occurred where wild animals became entangled in fishing line that had been improperly disposed of.
The Animal Control Unit began working on this project in September of 2014. They quickly gained the assistance and support from other agencies and local businesses in order to make this program possible. Captain Brett Scroggins of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police joined the project and agreed to maintain the recycling stations and empty the contents as necessary. The police department’s organizers then gained the support of Columbia Pipe and Supply Company, who generously donated all of the PVC materials needed to fabricate the recycling stations, and All American Auto Body who graciously donated their time and materials to paint the PVC. The police Explorers Post assisted by assembling all the units, and the city of Elgin Public Works / Land Management departments are installing the units in support of the program.
While still preparing all the necessary materials and waiting for the ground to thaw during the winter, an event occurred which confirmed the need for these recycling stations. On the early morning of January 31, 2015, a Harlequin duck became entangled in improperly disposed of fishing line while swimming in the area of the Kimball Street Bridge. The duck was observed struggling in the water by concerned citizens in the area and was eventually rescued by members of the Elgin Fire Department. “This is the type of event that these recycling stations will hopefully prevent,” said Animal Control Officer Matthew Ciesielczyk. “By placing these stations where citizens commonly fish, they will serve as a good reminder to properly dispose of your used fishing line while giving everyone a convenient place to do so.” The collected fishing line will then be sent to a monofilament fishing line recycling center where it will be recycled into other plastic products including tackle boxes, spools of line, fish habitats and toys.
The Animal Control Unit would like to remind citizens that if they have a complaint or concern about animals within the city of Elgin, please contact the Elgin Police Department at 847-289-2500 and request to speak to an Animal Control Officer.