East Peoria’s Green Team took a tour of the new PDC Recycling Center out on the edge of Pekin. We were accompanied by Mark Hill, one of the new East Peoria City Councilmen. The tour was set up by Corie Bartley, one of our members who works at Waste Management. PDC has a state of the art process that includes materials separation by machines and by workers on the line. They were very efficient separating the materials so that one type of material was not contaminated by another. The workers and managers that lead the tour were very helpful and informative. East Peoria Green members all learned a lot about the processes. Recycling is now more complicated since American materials are not shipped overseas, but are processed here in America.
Here are some general guidelines you can use and/or distribute that will help you recycle more effectively. As with everything, there are exceptions to these rules… mostly based on where you live and what terms have been negotiated by your municipality. We’ve found that the following guidelines are fairly universal:
- Don’t enclose any recyclables in bags. Leave them loose in the cart for better sorting.
- Don’t put anything organic in your recycle bin (food, scraps, leftovers, etc.)
- Don’t put anything stained with food residue or oils in your recycle bin (pizza boxes, fast food containers, soiled paper plates, etc.)
- Don’t put any wet paper or cardboard in your recycle bin. Wet fiber does not separate properly in our sorting machine.
- Please quickly rinse out all plastic containers to eliminate any organic contamination.
- cereal boxes
- corrugated boxes
- Copy/printer paper
- Paperback books
- Plastic bottles (Caps may be on bottles, otherwise throw them in the trash. Do not recycle loose caps.)
- Clear, green or blue water or soda bottles (PET, recycle symbol #1)
- Translucent (standard) Milk Jugs (HDPE Natural, recycle symbol #2)
- Opaque colored containers, such as laundry detergent, bleach and shampoo bottles (HDPE Colored, recycle symbol #2)
- Aluminum cans
- Beverage cans
- Clean aluminum foil/trays
- Tin cans
- Soup cans
- Fruit/vegetable cans
- Beverage bottles
- Food jars
- Plastic bags
- Grocery bags
- Kitchen/garbage bags
- Freezer/sandwich bags
- Frozen food packaging
- Styrofoam/expanded foam
- Clamshell containers
- Fast food packaging
- Tanglers (wire, coat-hangers, extension cords, hoses)
- Batteries (especially Lithium)
- Safe Sharps (syringes, razor blades, needles)
For the past few years EP Green has gone down to the riverfront the morning after the 4th of July evening fireworks to make sure that the garbage is picked up and that the recyclables, like plastic bottles and aluminum cans, are separated into the recycle toters and the garbage is in the garbage toters. Surprisingly enough some people who celebrate at the fireworks put garbage into the recycling toters and recyclable material into the garbage toters. At the end of about 3 hours our team was finished with this task. EP Green also wants to thank members of ICC’s SAFE Club and owners of Better Earth Compost for their help. We ask the public to ‘Don’t Trash It, Recycle it’ and vise versa. If you would like to help next year our website is www.eastpeoriagreen, our facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/eastpeoriagreenteam/, and our instagram account is https://www.instagram.com/epgreenteam61611/. The details will be at those locations.
East Peoria Green members, with the help of EPCHS Hope Club and ICC SAFE Club take a break from working to clean up the riverfront the day after the 4th of July, last year. Our groups sorted garbage from recyclable items on the morning of the 5th. From left to right there was Elena, Lexi, Dan, Robert Lori, Bob, and Tom.
It took a little over 3 hours to get everything sorted out. East Peoria Public Works waited for us to finish before sending the garbage and recycling trucks to pick up the toters. Thank you to all the celebraters that tried to put recyclables and garbage into the correct containers.
This year we invite all who want to attend. We will start at 8:30 a.m. on the 5th. Meet at the parking lot by the little children’s park behind Walmart. Bring your own gloves, hat, and sunscreen. Work as long or short a time as you would like. Drinks will be provided. Email Bob Jorgensen for more information.
Paw-Fect! Energy efficiency tips for your pets
You don’t have to choose between your pet’s comfort and efficiency. CUB staffers’ pets will show you how.
Originally appeared in the Summer 2018 issue of The CUB VOICE: A Publication of the Citizens Utility Board
Program your thermostat
Don’t be afraid to set your thermostat a little higher (78 degrees) in the summer while you’re away from home. Dogs and cats have ways of dealing with warm temperatures that humans don’t, like panting. Double check with your vet to see what temperature range is best for your breed or species.
Stabilize the temperature
Place your pet beds, cages, and aquariums in areas not subject to big temperature swings, away from vents and direct sunlight. Short-snout dog breeds like bulldogs and short-faced cats like Persians are more likely to get heat-stroke. Small pets like bunnies and reptiles are more vulnerable to extreme temperatures. Give them plenty of water, provide shade, and make sure to turn off any supplemental heating.
Wash fabrics in cold water
Wash your pet’s blanket of bedding in cold water. The fabric will get just as clean an you’ll use up to 90 percent less energy.
Maintain your AC system
A build-up of pet hair could for your cooling equipment to work harder, leading to high utility bills and more wear and tear. Change your air filter regularly, and brush and bathe your pet more often.
Shut off your fans
Animals don’t sweat, and their fur coats might prevent them from feeling the breeze produced by your fan. So running the fan when you aren’t at home will just add unnecessary kilowatt-hours to your electric bill. Instead, provide cool areas to rest such as a tile floor with a wet towel to lie on.
Tighten pet doors
If your doggie door is not air tight, it can suck conditioned air right out of your home, along with your hard-earned money. Caulk the frame of the pet door to seal it and prevent air leaks, and apply magnets to the flaps to secure them in a high wind. Another possible option is to upgrade your pet door to a new, more energy efficient model.
Turn out the lights
Most pets rely on natural light for their internal schedules and don’t need artificial light. Lights with motion sensors will pick up animal motion so these lights won’t work as well for you, especially if you have an active cat or dog.
Put pets on a schedule
Some exotic pets — like reptiles, amphibians, fish and some birds — do require additional lighting. Big a timer from a hardware or pet store to keep your reptile on its optimal schedule and manage energy costs. Energy-efficient pet bulbs can be found at pet stores and online.
Don’t run the tap
Some cats may be finicky about drinking from a bowl, but a running tap can cost serious money. So a cat fountain is a great way to encourage them to stay hydrated. A gravity-run drinking fountain can provide the fresh running water your pet likes without the energy suck of a pump-powered fountain or the cost of a dripping sink.
Turn off the tube
Leaving televisions and radios on when you’re not home will only confuse your pets and prevent them from napping. Toys and bones are much better entertainment, and they won’t cost a dime on your power bill.
Recycle your aquarium water
When you clean your fish tank, remove only one-third or one-half of the water and use it to water indoor and outdoor plants. Pumps and filters with lower power consumption will cut down on the amount of energy you use.
Treat sunny windows
The sun’s glare can affect the indoor temperature in your home, leading your cooling system to switch on more frequently. Consider treating your windows with solar film, or close most of the blinds and drapes to filter the light that can increase indoor temperatures.