Hinderman: Go green, and help Orland Park’s Open lands program
By Laura Hinderman email@example.com February 13, 2014 1:10PM
Updated: March 17, 2014 10:46AM
If the repeated cycle this winter of snow followed by freezing temperatures followed by more snow has you feeling housebound, hopefully you’re taking advantage of your extra time at home by getting an early start on spring cleaning.
And I hope that you’re committed to recycling as much of your unwanted household goods as you can, rather than just tossing them into the trash.
Luckily, Orland Park has many opportunities to recycle and repurpose your items.
At convenient spots in the village, you may drop off a variety of items that you probably did not think of as recyclable.
For example, did you know that crayons can be recycled into supercrayons (large crayons that are donated to agencies for use by people who need them)? Also, pens, pencils and markers are able to be recycled and can benefit the village’s Open Lands program.
For each writing instrument collected, a company called TerraCycle will donate 2 cents to the program to preserve open space in Orland Park. The company will turn the pens, pencils and other items and packaging into fun and innovative products.
TerraCycle is also collecting dairy tubs and lids such as those from yogurt, sour cream, cream cheese, butter, margarine, etc. Those products will net Open Lands 1 cent per item collected. Please remember to wash the containers thoroughly before depositing in the bins at the designated locations.
TerraCycle, based in Trenton, N.J., was founded in 2001 by Tom Szaky and began by producing liquid organic fertilizer in used soda bottles. Now, it’s one of the fastest growing green companies in the world, seeking to educate and persuade people, communities, and corporations to adopt a greener, cleaner lifestyle.
The company’s website says TerraCycle collects “difficult-to-recycle packaging and products and repurposes the material into affordable, innovative products. TerraCycle is widely considered the world’s leader in the collection and reuse of non-recyclable, post-consumer waste.”
Donna Kargol, the Green Initiative coordinator for Orland Park’s recreation and parks department, said the village has been working with TerraCycle since November 2009 and chose the Open Lands program as the beneficiary of the company’s charitable reimbursement.
Kargol said residents can contract with TerraCycle on their own, but some of the company’s collections, which it calls “brigades,” have limited participation while others have a weight minimum or other requirement before they can be shipped. For example, the dairy tubs have to be stacked or crushed before being boxed, and the writing instrument brigade has a seven-pound weight minimum before it can be shipped.
During TerraCycle’s writing instrument brigade last year, about 1,200 local locations participated, and Orland Park placed in the top 100. So keep on recycling, Orland Park!
The drop-off locations in Orland Park for TerraCycle are the Cultural Arts Center, 14760 Park Lane; the Sportsplex, 11351 W. 159th St.; the Franklin Loebe Center, 14650 Ravinia Ave., and the village hall, 14700 Ravinia Ave. Due to space restrictions, the village hall is not a drop-off location for the dairy tubs.
Kargol also said that during the last two years, the village has partnered with the Girl Scouts to collect certain items for the TerraCycle program for their service projects. From November 2012 to May 2013, Scout Troop 60011 collected 11 pounds of dairy tubs and became a winning collection troop.
The Smart Living Orland Park Program provided the troop with a pizza party as a reward for its efforts. This year, the Girl Scouts are collecting for the writing instrument brigade. Good luck, girls!
And while I’m on the subject of recycling, if you missed your window of opportunity to take down your outside holiday lighting due to the cold and snowy weather, all is not lost. You may still recycle your tangled, broken lights and extension cords after the weather breaks at the recreation department office, 14600 Ravinia Ave., just north of village hall.
For more information on these and other recycling programs, please visit Orland Park’s website at www.orland-park.il.us and scroll to Smart Living Orland Park or you can call the village at (708) 403-7275.
To learn more about TerraCycle and its recycling programs, visit its website at www.terracycle.com/