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Patch Picks: Five Ways to Go Green

Patch highlights five ways locals are going green—and how you can, too.

If you're looking to "go green," there are small things you can do everyday to conserve more. Here are five things local residents are doing to inspire others:

1. Red Goes Green at

Since September 2008, Hinsdale Central's staff and students have participated in an initiative called Red Goes Green, which encourages those in the school to conserve as much as possible. The initiative has hosted bike/walk-to-school days, and staff and teachers use online homework-posting site Sharepoint and email instead of printing when possible. Staff and students also turn lights off when leaving a room, use post-consumer recycled products, and use green cleaning supplies. 

2. helps recycle the "unrecyclable"

Burr Ridge's Trinity Lutheran is another local school making a difference. Instead of throwing away difficult-to-recycle materials like cookie wrappers and potato chip bags, Trinity Lutheran , a company that recycles trash that others often throw away. The students and staff at Trinity Lutheran are among the 14 million individuals worldwide who send trash to TerraCycle, which allows billions of pieces of trash to be converted into over 1,500 common products. Trinity Lutheran alone has sent over 13,740 units of trash to TerraCycle since 2009. 

3. Burr Ridge residents are more likely to recycle than Chicago residents, and Hinsdale and Clarendon Hills residents top a list of communities that recycle in DuPage County

Crain's Chicago Business assessed the recycling habits of Chicagoland residents last October, and assigned each zip code an index that represented how much that area recycled. An index of 100 indicated the national average, and any zip code that received higher than 100 was more likely to have recycled in the past year. The suburbs faired better than city dwellers. Burr Ridge residents scored above average for recycling, but below . Burr Ridge residents received an index of 123, while Hinsdale received an index of 145 and Clarendon Hills received an index of 134. 

4. How to recycle 

In Burr Ridge, recycling and trash collection is handled through a private arrangement between property owners and one of the companies that is licensed to perform scavenger services in the village. You can see a list of those companies, as well as information about curbside recycling and rules for landscape waste here.

The has released a recycling guide to help residents determine which materials are acceptable for recycling and which are not. Waste and recycling is collected on Mondays for residents south of the railroad tracks in the village, and on Thursdays for residents north of the tracks.

Clarendon Hills, which uses a recycling guide similar to Hinsdale's, provides single-family residences with recycling carts, and provides services including fall leaf collection, yard waste collection, and refuse and recycling services during the village's events.

5. Recycle e-waste

Although many people would like to recycle their electronics and other devices, it's not always clear how to do so. Luckily, Burr Ridge, Hinsdale, and Clarendon Hills residents have plenty of options when they are looking to such as televisions, cell phones, printers, and iPods in DuPage County.

Since Illinois enacted the Electronic Products Recycling and Reuse Act in 2008, manufacturers have been required to provide facilities to accept consumers' e-waste. To recycle your e-waste, visit the Glendale Heights Public Service garage at 1635 Glen Ellyn Rd. from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. any Thursday from May through November, or stop by Bloomingdale Township's highway department at 123 N. Rosedale from 8 a.m. to noon on the first Saturday of each month. You also can find a list of manufacturers who offer e-waste recycling at the IEPA website.

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