Environmental, Local, Park Forest, Recycling

Village of Park Forest Assisting Residents with Holiday Recycling

Image with holiday lights at the top and Christmas trees along the bottom
Park Forest Holiday Recycling Flyer (Image: VOPF)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- The holidays are filled with family traditions, great food, and, of course, presents! Unfortunately, what also comes with the holidays is a lot of trash! According to Carrie Malfeo, the Park Forest Sustainability Coordinator, the average household will see a 25% increase in the amount of trash produced between Thanksgiving and Christmas compared to other times of the year.  There are, however, ways that you can redirect some of this trash to recycling programs. Residents can redirect some of the trash from the winter holiday season to recycling programs around the Village of Park Forest.

If you find yourself with old or broken holiday lights, do not toss them in your trash. The good news is that they are recyclable, but NOT in your curbside recycling bin. These lights can get caught in the recycling machinery and then require manual intervention to remove and restart the process. In fact, Homewood Disposal refers to these lights as “tanglers” that delay recycling and can result in material that could otherwise be recycled being redirected to a landfill.

Green bin filled with Christmas lights
Park Forest residents can drop off Christmas lights for recycling in the Village Hall lobby. (Photo VOPF)

Instead, take those holiday lights to the lobby of the Park Forest Village Hall and toss them in the specially marked green bins. This year’s lights recycling effort is being sponsored by Gaby Iron and Metal and is available through January 18. The Village Hall is located at 350 Victory Drive in downtown Park Forest.

In addition to recycling lights, the Village also offers a live Christmas tree recycling program. Residents can bring their trees – unbagged and free of ornaments and tinsel – to the Aqua Center parking lot from December 26 through January 18. Collected trees will be turned into mulch for use in the village parks. The Aqua Center is located at 30 N. Orchard Drive.

While Homewood Disposal will pick up the tree on regular trash pick-up days after Christmas to help the environment and ensure that your tree is recycled, the village program is your best option.

Christmas wrapping paper may seem like an obvious choice to toss into your recycling bin but be aware that not all wrapping paper is recyclable. Plain wrapping paper is acceptable, but wrapping paper with a metallic coating is not recyclable and could cause a load of otherwise “good” material to end up in a landfill.

Also, with Santa giving people new televisions for Christmas, Park Forest residents can recycle their old sets. As part of its agreement with the village, Homewood Disposal will pick up and recycle two TVs per rolling year per household at no cost. However, residents must submit the online form found on the Homewood Disposal website or call them at 708-798-1004 to schedule a pick-up. TVs and other electronics placed at the curb without pre-approval will not be picked up.