Budgetary considerations and Elgin’s movement to become a more environmentally friendly community were the factors that led to the City’s decision to end its annual spring clean up event this year.
“It was a costly initiative,” said Elgin’s General Services Group Director Dave Lawry. “Last year, the City paid more than $350,000 to provide that service. And while the budget was certainly a consideration, the deciding factor was the City’s interest in becoming a more environmentally friendly community. The spring cleanup event simply was not the right thing to do for the environment, but the City continues to work with Waste Management to address other resident cleanup options.”
Last year Waste Management collected nearly 2,900 tons of garbage during the spring clean up week alone – which all goes directly to a landfill. An average weekly trash haul is normally about 470 tons.
“That’s a more than 500% increase in trash just for that week,” said Lawry. “The trash goes to a landfill and essentially negates any benefit the Elgin’s recycling program provided.”
Typically, Elginites recycle about 30% of their trash and toss about 70% that goes to a landfill. During the annual spring cleanup, the ratio is 91% trash and 9% recycling. In any given week, Waste Management would pick up perhaps four tires. During spring cleanup week, the number goes up to more than 2,000.
The City will still provide free yard waste removal during the month of April. Additionally, there is unlimited recycling available for free. The City’s curbside household hazardous waste removal program provides residents with a convenient way to dispose of oil-based paint, pesticides, pool chemicals and sealants also at no cost. Residents can call 1-800-449-7587 to arrange for a pickup.
Residents seeking to dispose of used motor oil and automotive fluids can do so at special Elgin locations: 7N904 Rt. 25 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and on Saturday 8 a.m. to 12 noon, or residents can go to Auto Zone, 310 N. McLean Blvd.
Electronics can be dropped off at the Kane County Circuit Court Building, 540 S. Randall Road, St. Charles on the second Friday and Saturday of every month between 8 a.m. and 12 noon.
There’s also a re-use center for building materials. ReStore, 800 N. State Street, enables homeowners and contractors to done surplus items and reduce the amount of building materials that would otherwise go to landfills. Residents should call 847-742-9905 to determine what is acceptable. Residents can also visit www.freecycle.org for more reuse information or can learn more about recycling options by going to the City’s website at www.cityofelgin.org.