Kicked from the curb

By Deanna Cabinian

While the main way to do it is still at the curbside, there is more than one way for residents in DeKalb County to recycle.

Pat Dashney, Solid Waste Coordinator for DeKalb County, said each municipality in DeKalb County has its own curbside recycling program. Each city has its own contract with Waste Management, which handles the majority of the pick-up of solid waste and recyclables.

DeKalb County residents can put plastics No. 1 and No. 2, newspapers, aluminum, steel cans, glass, cardboard and all other kinds of paper in their curbside bins, Dashney said. The curbside system has been around since the early 1990s.

After pick-up, recyclable materials are sent to different places to be recycled, Dashney said. One of those places is the Lake County Material Recovery facility in Grayslake.

Although each municipality in the county has curbside recycling services, residents living in unincorporated areas have to drop off their recyclables at one of several drop sites. Those sites include the Waste Management center in DeKalb and a spot across from NIU’s Physical Plant, where there are containers for residents to drop off materials. These facilities do not pay residents for their recyclables.

Kamie Cruce, dispatcher and operations clerk of Waste Management DeKalb, 115 Simmonds Ave., said residents can drop materials off 24 hours a day because the dumpsters for materials to be recycled are outside the building. The facility takes paper, cardboard, plastics, glass and aluminum cans, but not any other kinds of metal.

Last year, DeKalb County recycled 72,327 tons of material. DeKalb City Manager Jim Connors said recycling in the city is part of a contract agreement with Waste Management. DeKalb only has a franchise agreement with single-family homes. The program does not include businesses, multi-family housing, residence halls or apartments.

The DeKalb Iron and Metal Company, located at 9th and Oak Street, recycles aluminum and other types of metal, but cannot take paper, glass or plastic.