One important way that we can preserve the planet for future generations is to eliminate or significantly reduce what is disposed of through the solid waste stream. Recycling and donating items are vital strategies for achieving this goal.
Learn About Your Community's Recycling Services
La Grange and many other nearby communities offer recycling as part of waste
hauling and collection services:
Go Green LaGrange encourages you to brush up on the curbside recycling services offered by your town. If you live in an apartment building or other multi-family property, you
may not be serviced by your community's contracted service. Instead, seek information from your property manager/landlord.
Find out exactly what you can recycle through your curbside services. Most services recycle glass, metal, and paper. Many plastic bottles and containers are also recyclable - but not all. NPR provides a good summary
of what plastics are recyclable. And DuPage County warns against wish cycling
Also, be sure to follow instructions on how to prepare your recyclables for pick up. This will help ensure that items are truly recycled.
See Also: Composting
Learn Where to Recycle or Donate Other Items
Not everything can be recycled through your community's waste hauling services. Go Green LaGrange collects some common items at the Farmer's Market and other events. We've also identified other local and not-so-local resources for recycling and donating.
If you know of other local resources, please contact Go Green LaGrange at [email protected]
Other options for local recycling: SCARCE
in Addison. In addition, you can search Earth911
for where to recycle a variety of items.
When buying a new fridge, dishwasher, or other large
ABT, and other retailers will haul away your old one for recycling. ABT also donates
appliances in good shape to Salvation Army and other
In addition, ABT recycles small appliances
ComEd offers rebates
on energy-efficient appliances. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 also provides
credits and incentives
to home owners for certain energy-efficient changes,
such as installing heat pumps.
for information on repairing appliances.
Batteries - Auto and Marine
Recycling your used vehicle or boat battery is quick and
easy. Just drop it off at a local retailer - including AutoZone
, and CarQuest
they do the rest. Some retailers will grant you a store credit for your used
battery even if you don't purchase a new one.
also accepts a variety of batteries that
power vehicles, including lead acid batteries from golf carts, mowers, sump
pumps, etc. Nearest locations in Oak Lawn, Villa Park, and Oak Park. Call ahead
Stay tuned for where to recycle electric car batteries. Argonne's ReCell Center
is actively looking into advanced EV
If you really want to be a wonk on recycling batteries,
visit Argonne's EVER BATT
Batteries - Household
Go Green LaGrange collects household batteries for recycling,
at a small cost to you, once a year at the Farmers Market. Check the calendar
for this year's collection date.
Other recycling options:
Countryside Police Department (Joliet Rd & Brainard) is
accepting alkaline batteries (AA, AAA, C, D, etc).
But only from Countryside residents.
accepts a variety of batteries.
Big Green Box has a "Mini" box
$36 that families and/or a group of friends or neighbors can purchase to
recycle household batteries.
You can also search for a battery drop-off location at Call2Recycle
Switch to rechargeable batteries. They are better for the
environment, easier on the pocketbook, and are easy to recycle. Home
Ace Hardware in La Grange
, accept rechargeable batteries.
You may send bikes and
parts to Working Bikes
, which repairs
and gives bikes to people in the local area and across the globe.
Or consider The Recyclery
(7628 N Paulina, Chicago; 773-262-5900
can donate used bikes, bike parts, and tools (no helmets). Call ahead.
Go Green LaGrange collects plastic bread tags every week at
the Farmer's Market to ship to the Danielle
Care for Chairs
, Carmel, Ind. via SCARCE. The nonprofit collects millions
of bread tags from around the country, delivers them for recycling, and then
uses the proceeds from recycling to buy wheelchairs for people in need. The
organization recently gifted its 15th wheelchair to a child!
Check out Danielle
Cares for Chairs
for a great story.
Consider donating your old car to Habitat for Humanity
which fixes up and sells old cars to finance future Habitat homes. Habitat for
Humanity is taking steps to build energy-efficient homes. For instance, Fox
Valley Habitat for Humanity plans to build 17 net-zero homes in
Other options: WBEZ
may take that jalopy that still runs. Even Goodwill
Books, DVDs, CDs, Etc.
If the items are in good shape, try unloading books, movies,
records, video games, and comics at Half Price Books in Countryside (14
Countryside Plaza; 708-579-1770
). The store pays $$$$ (pennies).
Alternatively, your local library may have a donation
program for books, records, DVDs, CDs, etc.
- Donate all types of books to Open Books, a Chicago
in Addison, also accepts any and all books.
Ship children's books to The Children's Book
Project or donate them to Cradles
to Crayons Chicago
Recycle CDs through the CD Recycling Center (closed due
Donate theology books (for example, about church history,
philosophy, ethics, Bible studies) to the Theological Book Network.
Located in Grand Rapids, Mich., the organization gives theological books to
seminaries and universities in the southern hemisphere. Great
way to help people give their theological books away - and the books
will be used.
Bring prior-year textbooks to your school bookstore, if
possible, for credits toward new textbooks. You can
also sell textbooks online at ABEbooks, Amazon, BookScouter, Bookchor, EBay, and
Go Green LaGrange collects bras once a year at the Farmer's
Market. Check the calendar
for this year's collection date.
Even Titslinger, the fabled
inventor of the brassiere, would be amazed at the number of bras we collect!
We bring the bras to the lingerie store SOMA in Oakbrook
Center. SOMA (an affiliate of Chico's) donates new and gently used bras to
the nonprofit I
Support the Girls
, which provides bras to women who are homeless,
impoverished, or subject to domestic abuse. If the bras are not in good
enough condition to be reused, SOMA will donate them to The Bra Recyclers
, another nonprofit
that specializes in recycling all the parts of the bra (cloth, fasteners,
You can also drop bras off yourself at SOMA, next to Ann
Taylors at Oakbrook Center (630-571-1773
). If you have an account with SOMA or
Chico's, you can earn a $5 store credit for each bra
donated (up to two per month).
Christmas Trees (Real)
Check if your community's refuse services include pick up of
real Christmas trees and greenery.
In La Grange, holiday greenery collection and pickup are
free of charge and will take place the first two weeks of January. Holiday
greenery must have all tinsel, ornaments, lights, and nails removed before being placed out at the curb for pickup. Collection of
holiday greenery after the third week of January will be billed as a bulk item
pick up on your next invoice.
to learn about composting options for Christmas
greenery and other plant life.
Clothes and Supplies for Babies and Young Children
Here are some options:
Cradles to Crayons Chicago collects new and gently used
clothing, books, school supplies, diapers, etc. to
give to babies and children in Chicago. The organization has a list
of items that are needed and accepted.
Cradles to Crayons has a collection box in the lobby of First
United Methodist Church of La Grange (the chapel entrance on Cossitt). The church is normally open 9-5 weekdays and
Sunday morning. The church's preschool families keep the box full most of the
Community Closet, La Grange Park. 24-hour donation bin at 500 E. 31st
Sales at Saint Michael's Lutheran
Church. Follow on Facebook [email protected].
They can use volunteers to sort and sell clothes and supplies.
The Cossitt Clothing Sale
has a number of collection boxes in the local area,
including one in the parking lot of St. Barbara Church in Brookfield. The
organization collects re-useable clothes, shoes, accessories (e.g., purses),
and household textiles.
Clothes and Jewelry for Adults
Options include Goodwill
, and Sharing Connections
"Put a Cork n It."
Go Green LaGrange collects corks every Thursday
(May-October) at the Farmer's Market. So, save your corks and drop them off. No
plastic corks - only natural corks.
We also pick up corks from local restaurants, including
1416, The Elm, Steak & Vine, and Luccas.
We ship the corks to ReCork
, which is North America's largest cork recycling
program. ReCork grinds down corks, which is then used to create other products, including cork soles
Plastic corks or screw tops on wine bottles often get tossed
in the garbage (not good).
Turn corks into art. See Reuse
Do you have oil from that deep-fried 22 lb. turkey or deep-fried
Twinkies? Leftover oil can be deposited in the "Mahoney Bin" in the alley just south
of Tate's Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Shop (behind Aging Care Connections).Learn
about oil recycling at Mahoney Environmental.
Another Chicago-area option: Green Grease Environmental
, which partners
with restaurants and heavy users.
Did you know cooking oil is used as aviation fuel? Look up "sustainable
aviation fuel" (SAF). Here is more on this topic: U.S.
DOE Releases Roadmap to Achieve Carbon Neutral Aviation Emissions
Bob's TV & Metal Pickup. Call 630-235-0387
information. Mailing address is 435 Custer, Lyons;
garage is on Plainfield Rd. Bob picks up anything with a plug attached (except
old wood TVs) as well as pots and pans, Xmas lights, cords and cables, and
metal stuff. You can also drop off stuff next to his garage if the stuff fits
his collection list. Bob is a good guy according to patrons. Used by local
community groups. Been around for over 10 years.
La Grange homeowners can call Flood Bros (630-261-0400) to
ask about curb collection of electronics for a fee. If you can
wait, the annual Clean Up Day may include electronics.
Ridge Public Works (451 Commerce St., Plainfield) Open 7-3 Monday through Friday.
Buy, in Countryside and elsewhere, will take various electronics, including
computers, printers, cartridges, game consoles, and TVs (with limitations).
(formerly UBreakIFix) next to the La Grange Theater
on La Grange Road for small electronics. Good people.
You can sell or trade-in cell phones, iPads, gaming
consoles, computers, etc. to Gazelle,
many other stores/services.
Goodwill (closest location at Wolf & 31st) will take LCD-screen
TVs. In fact, check out the Goodwill
Donation Guidelines. They take lots of stuff for discount resale and then
recycle leftovers. Even shoes and clothes. But NOT exercise equipment or coat
hangers; best to call ahead.
Learn about Illinois'
Electronic Recycling Program
Ask your eye doctor or the store where you buy glasses if they
accept old eyeglasses (prescription and non-prescription).
Other local options:
Lions Club on 22d & York. They also take hearing aids.
Drop off boxes in lobby.
Eye Mechanix (52 S. La Grange Rd) accepts donations of
eyeglasses and suggests the Western Springs Post Office as well.
La Grange Park Public Library has a drop off box in entry lobby.
Fabric/Textiles/Old Clothes (Not Blankets)
Go Green LaGrange collects textiles (old underwear, T
Shirts, sheets, towels, whatever) at the Farmers Market every Thursday morning from
May to October.
We give a lot of what we collect to Chicago Textile Recycling
Wipe It), which does the following with donated material:
30% is cut for wiping rags
(processed through Wipeco).
45% of the apparel donated has
a second life! It might go to other resale stores, and some is sent to others in developing countries.
20% is broken down into fiber that is reprocessed and
repurposed for things like carpet padding, upholstery, etc.
If you prefer, you can drop textiles into one of Chicago
Textile Recycling's collection bins. Call 708-544-7247
to find a bin closet to
you. (Note: No blankets or pillows)
Another option for old blankets and towels: Check with your
local animal shelter, vet, or Humane Society to see if they have a need.
Check if your local fire department is accepting drop-offs.
If not, you can take extinguishers to a hazardous waste disposal facility,
along with other hazardous waste:
This option is only for Illinois residents - not businesses,
schools, or institutions.
Pld, torn? Bring to the American
Legion lot. Like a big mail
Robert E Coulter,
Jr., Post 1941, 900 S. La Grange Road, La Grange, IL 60525-2936.
Furniture and Other Household Items
(CFB) has been recommended to Go Green LaGrange by a trusted
person. You can donate furniture and other large household items to CFB. The
nonprofit gives these items to people
transitioning out of homelessness. CFB also takes mattresses
in good-condition. A monetary donation may be requested to help cover costs. CFB partners with the
Honest Junk Company to cart away items that are not in good shape.
Home 2 Home
in Hodgkins (708-505-5496
donations of furniture and other items to help homeless families transition
into independent living.
For more on helping the homeless in our community, check out
in Downers Grove accepts furniture, household supplies,
baby items, and clothing for families in need.
Other options for donating furniture include national
charities like AmVets
. Always good to call ahead before wasting gas to drop off furniture
and getting a "not today."
Call ahead to the La Grange Police Dept to set a time to
drop off that old gun (and/or bullets).
Ruby Cleaners (6 W. Burlington; just east of La Grange Rd.)
accepts metal hangers.
Cleaners at 55th & Plainfield
(Marshall Shopping Center Across from Fuller's Car Wash) will only take back
hangers sourced from its plant.
on Hillgrove will also only accept hangers from its own store. Breen's also
recycles plastic bags.
Hazardous Materials (Household)
Here are some options:
Also, the Illinois
provides information on disposing of various types of wastes, including
Go Green LaGrange collects LEGOS once a year at the Farmer's
Market. Barbie and Ken and friends also accepted. Check the calendar
year's collection date.
If not taken by Jan Regan, La Grange Arts League, for kid's
art classes, we donate the used bricks to LEGO Replay
a program of LEGO that shares the power of play with children who need it most.
Alternatively, you can ship used LEGOS to LEGO Replay
According to an
from Home Depot, different types of light bulbs should be disposed
of in different ways. It's worth reading the whole
piece. But here's a summary:
Incandescent bulbs: These can be difficult to recycle, but are
safe to toss in your regular garbage. One possible option for recycling: BatteriesPlus
Once you use up all your incandescent bulbs, consider
committing to LED bulbs, which are much more eco-friendly.
Halogen bulbs: These are safe to toss in your regular
garbage. These can be difficult to recycle. One possible
option for recycling: BatteriesPlus
Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs): These contain mercury,
which is toxic to humans and animals. Never throw these in your household
trash. (If one breaks, seek info from EPA on how to clean up.) Several
retailers may accept CFLs for recycling, including Home
Depot and BatteriesPlus.
LED bulbs: LEDs are great eco-options because they last much
longer than incandescent bulbs. However, LED bulbs contain trace amounts of
lead and arsenic. Thus, avoid tossing them in your trash. Instead, recycle them
through various retailers, such as Menards, IKEA, Home Depot, and Lowes (call
ahead to ensure the store accepts).
Fluorescent tubes: Like CFLs, fluorescent tubes contain
mercury. So do not toss in trash. (If one breaks, seek info from EPA on how to
clean up.) Recycling options are limited. One
Nearest locations in Oak Lawn, Villa Park, and Oak Park. Call ahead for
Makeup and Skin Care Containers
You can drop off your empty skin care and hair care products,
compacts, makeup jars, bottles, and tubes at the Beauty Department of Nordstrom
in Oakbrook Center. Learn
commitment to recycle
If you use MAC Cosmetics, you can drop jars, etc. at Ulta Beauty, Macys, or Nordstroms.
In addition, Go Green LaGrange collects used skin care and
makeup products once a year at the Farmer's Market. Check the calendar
year's collection date.
Go deeper with 37 Best
Refillable Makeup, Hair, And Skin Care Products Of 2022 for A Sustainable
in Verve Times.
(2845 W. 48th Place, Chicago; 872-444-5875) will take mattresses in
good condition (not stained). Charges $5 to pick up.
will also take a mattress in good condition.
Medical Sharps and Needles
You can drop home-generated sharps/needles off at the Westmont
Police Department (500 N. Cass) in the red box container in the lobby,
Monday-Friday, 8-3 pm. (Email: [email protected]
about the safe disposal of sharps and needles. Sharps should never be thrown loosely into the trash or toilet. Sharps that
retract after use, or are very small, should be
disposed of like all other sharps.
Medical Supplies and Equipment
Woodridge accepts beds, crutches, sleep apnea equipment, and many other medical
supplies and equipment.
of Holy Guardian Angels Church (formerly St. Barbara's) also
takes medical equipment in good shape. Call first. Located at 9300 W. 47th St,
Unit 1E, Brookfield; 708-295-7336
Generate instant cash at United
(1545 S Cicero; North of 22nd/Cermak) for rebar, wiring, crowbar,
steel file cabinets, gutters and downspouts, metal coat hangers, lead pipes, and
other metals. Open from 6 to 6 weekdays.
Current steel scrap price is $140.00
per gross ton. (For 18 lbs. of coat hangers, received $1.12. About $0.06/lb.)
You, too, can become a "junker." Aluminum cans and
copper get much more $$.
Another option is Cozzi
in Melrose Park.
(MUST) recycles used musical equipment and donates to public
schools needing help.
The Old Town School
of Folk Music
will accept many instruments in
playable and good condition. Please call or email ([email protected]
dropping off your donations to double check. They accept acoustic and electric
guitars, mandolins, ukuleles, banjos, violins, and hand drums in working
also takes music instruments.
If anyone knows of a local source seeking used musical
equipment, please contact
Go Green LaGrange.
You can recycle most paper through your community's
recycling program or wherever you put your clean cardboard.
Another recycling option: Paper Retriever (dumpster) on the
SW corner of 55th and East Avenue. East side of the Helping Hand building
parking lot. Proceeds may benefit Helping Hand.
Stop all that junk
mail, including unwanted catalogs, from ever getting to you in the first place.
To dispose of pills, capsules, tablets, etc.
that you no longer need or have expired, take them to the La Grange Police
Department (304 Burlington) and put them into a secured medication box in the
list many other locations that accept unused medications.
Never flush medicines down the toilet. The Village of La Grange
Do not drop medical sharps and needles off with unused
medications. Needles and sharps can be brought to Westmont Police Department.
Effective December 2023: A new (2022) Illinois law (HB 1780)
will make drug manufacturers responsible for covering the costs of disposing of
all medications collected as part of a centralized, statewide collection
Also check out MyOldMeds.com
. Good stuff.
Pill Containers (Empty)
Go Green LaGrange collects empty pill containers on Thursday
morning at the La Grange Farmers Market (May to October). To protect your
privacy, please remove the labels. (Here's one way to remove labels
quickly and easily) The pill containers will be taken to the local Walgreens.
Alternatively, you can drop Rx containers off yourself
(labels removed) at the local Walgreens near tracks and La Grange Road.
Plastic Bags and Wrap
Near the entrance door to most grocery stores (for example, Jewel,
Mariano's, Target), there should be a receptacle clearly marked for disposal of
plastic bags. Many stores also accept plastic bread
bags, dry cleaning plastic covers, and other plastic wraps.
For instance, see what plastic bags and wraps are accepted
Your biggest fear, with the shortage of workers, is that the
plastic bags wind up in the dumpster out back. Good one = Jewel in La Grange
California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, New York, Oregon,
Vermont, and Washington have all banned single-use plastic bags and auxiliary
containers in one form or another. Illinois? One can hope...
Could fungi be the answer to plastic waste? On November 21,
2022, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report
recycling, or bio-recycling. This emerging technology uses microbes, such as
bacteria or fungi, to break down plastic into its basic components for reuse. According
to GAO, research suggests that bio-recycling of plastics could help promote a
circular economy in which plastic waste is continuously reincorporated into new
Pop Tops from Aluminum Cans
Go Green LaGrange collects pop tops on Thursday morning at the
La Grange Farmers Market (May to October). We donate them to the Ronald McDonald
House near Loyola University Medical Center
. The charity gets money for the
pop tops through metal recyclers.
Many local schools also collect pop
tops. You can also drop them off at any Ronald McDonald House
in the Chicago area.
La Grange sponsors a Pumpkin SMASH in November, usually the
first Saturday after Halloween. Remove the candles and inside stuff and
Go Green LaGrange collects used shoes - those 4-inch heels,
goulashes, boots, tennies, dress Florsheim, old
Clarks, sandals, whatever (even singles) - on Thursday mornings at the La Grange
Farmers Market (May to October) and at other events.
We send the shoes to Soles4Souls
a nonprofit sponsored by Zappos, that reconditions the shoes and sends them
around the world for use by people experiencing hardships. Shoes that are in bad
shape (or missing their pairs) are ground up into playground cushiony
If you miss us at the Farmers Market, you can drop off shoes
in one of the many Soles4Souls collection boxes in the local area. JAYNES on Harris has a drop-off box just inside front door during business hours.
Alternatively, you can ship the shoes
for free courtesy of Zappos
Or you can also drop off slightly used shoes at DSW in Oak
Most smoke detectors typically fall into two categories:
photoelectric and ionization.
Old photoelectric detectors can generally be tossed in
regular trash. (Take out the batteries first and recycle those separately.)
However, ionization detectors contain a small amount of
Americium 241, a radioactive isotope. When in use, these detectors are
perfectly safe, as the radioactive material is shielded by a metal chamber
inside the device. If dismantled, however, the radioactive material can become
exposed. For this reason, you should never try to take apart an old ionization
To determine whether or not your detector is an ionization
type, look on the back; it should either have the letter "I" or say
ionization. Or there may be a label warning about radioactive material on the
back of detector.
First Alert has a complimentary
for intact ionization smoke detectors (postage not included).
These must be First Alert, BRK, Family Gard, or Onelink
The U.S. Post Office has also posted a
list of manufacturers
that accept old smoke/CO2 detectors for proper
You can also bring detectors to SCARCE
Addison. The nonprofit charges a small fee per detector.
: Peace Passers
accepts gently used soccer equipment - balls, shoes, shin guards, gloves, sets
of team jerseys and shorts - and redistributes them to communities in need. See detailed
Local AYSO Commissioner in La Grange Park has agreed to
accept the annual collection by Go Green LaGrange of soccer equipment at the
Farmers Market. (Check the Farmers Market calendar
: APT Layhold is
turning used tennis balls into tennis courts. You can
ship used tennis balls
for a fee.
also accepts used tennis balls.
: If your kid grows out of those expensive
hockey skates or your daughter has upgraded to a more expensive tennis racket,
you may want to consider Play
It Again Sports
in Westmont (233 W Ogden; 630-810-9811
). Check the website
to see what they currently need. No junk stuff. You
might get some trade-in money.
Western Springs sponsors a free styrofoam recycling event
on the first Saturday of
every month. Volunteers accept drop-offs of clean Styrofoam (no peanuts)
between 9 and noon near the Community Center parking lot and garages in Western
Springs, just north of the BNSF tracks. The foam is brought to Dart Container.
STOROpack in Hillside (320 Craig
Place; 708-547-8030) accepts Styrofoam packing peanuts - both white and pink peanuts
but must be separated. Open Mon-Fri. 8-5.
What happens to the stryofoam that
is collected for recycling? Check out one use by the Perfect Block. You will love the video.
Container says the material is eventually turned into crown molding,
picture frames, and other items.
Nothing local. K&S
Tire Recycling in Chicago Heights accepts tires (303 S. State; 312-805-8266)
K&S charges $3 per tire to recycle.
In Chicago, there's also Liberty
Tire (2044 N Dominick, near Webster & Ashland on the North Branch of
the Chicago River).
In addition, if you buy tires for your car, Discount,
Firestone, Costco, and other retailers will recycle your old ones for a fee in
the $3.00 to $5.00 range.
Tool Library (4015 W. Carroll Ave. Chicago) accepts donations of various
tools, ranging from table saws to sewing machines to camping tents. Check the
nonprofit organization's donation list and
hours of operation before dropping off any tools.