BLOOMINGTON — Hundreds flocked to Illinois Wesleyan University’s Hansen Student Center Saturday to drop off a myriad of recyclables.   

Old televisions, shoes, clothing and garden pots were among the items dropped off at the event which was part of America Recycles Day.

The mega-recycling project aimed at raising awareness regarding the various green opportunities locally.  About 30 volunteers sorted clothing, batteries, electronics and plastic garden pots. Confidential paper shredding also was available.

“Recycling is important; it’s about conserving our resources and conserving our energy,” said Michael Brown, executive director of the Ecology Action Center. “Extracting new raw materials take so much energy … recycling is about reducing pollution and helping the economy.”

Diane Boeck of Normal agreed. “I didn’t bring too much, but I recycle all the time. I drive my family crazy,” said Boeck, who dropped off old cassette tapes, flip flops and wine corks. Some of the materials will be used for “terracycling,” which involves using hard-to-recycle items to create other useful things, said Boeck. Some examples include making purses out of foil juice pouches or making artwork from cast-off sweaters.   

Bloomington resident Jennifer Quast said the event gave her a destination for an old television, a computer monitor and router.

“We’re getting into (recycling) more and more,” Quast said, as volunteers carried the electronics from her car.

By midmorning the event had drawn about 316 vehicles, said Brown, adding that the event also aimed to raise awareness regarding the various opportunities in Bloomington-Normal for recycling. At last year’s event, organizers collected more than 22,000 pounds of recyclable materials. This year’s weight tally isn’t available yet.

“It doesn’t get much better than this,” said Brown. “The weather is nice and there is a steady stream of cars.” The group estimates that the event drew double the amount of participants this year, compared to last year, when 300 households dropped off their recyclables.

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I am a second year participant and want to thank the many volunteers as well as their sponsors - thank you State Farm.

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