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December Eco-Extraordinaires

Nov 30 2020

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Check out this month’s local leaders in green.

Do you know a DuPage County organization or person that deserves some green kudos? Email carrie@scarce.org to explain who you think should be one of our next Eco-Extraordinaires.

Pumpkin Smash Hosts Bring Sustainability to Community Halloween Celebrations

On November 7th, SCARCE was joined by dozens of organizations in bringing the annual Pumpkin Smash to our respective communities. Big kudos go out to all the people and organizations that took part in the 7th annual Pumpkin Smash including hosts, volunteers, and haulers. They include public works agencies, churches, school groups, environmental commissions, non-profits and more. Thanks to our collective efforts, residents in 43 communities had the option to drop-off their pumpkins for composting after Halloween. Not only that, we provided community members a fun and safe outdoor activity during a year when so many have had to be canceled. Together, we diverted over 159 tons of organic waste from landfills, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, returned water back to our soil, and spread awareness about composting. Thank you to everyone involved – you are creating a brighter future for people and the planet!

Local government: Village of Bartlett, Village of Bensenville, City of Blue Island, Elgin Sustainability Commission, City of Elmhurst, City of Evanston, Kane County, Village of Glencoe, Village of Grayslake, Village of Gurnee, La Grange Park Sustainability Commission, Sustain Libertyville Commission, Village of Lisle, Village of Mount Prospect, City of Park Ridge, Will County, Village of Skokie, St. Charles Natural Resources Commission, Villa Park Environmental Concerns Commission, West Chicago Environmental Commission, Village of Western Springs, Westmont Environmental Improvement Committee, Wheaton Environmental Improvement Commission, Village of Westchester

Organizations & Schools: Forest Preserve District of Will County, Blue Island Park District, Edgewater Environmental Sustainability Project, Plant Chicago, University of Illinois Extension, CommUnity Makery, Solorio High School (Chicago), Pushing the Envelope Farm, Northern Illinois Food Bank, Chicago Southland Green Committee, Homewood Flossmoor Park District, Glen Ellyn Park District, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church (Glen Ellyn), Glencoe Community Gardens, Grayslake Central High School, College of Lake County Sustainability Council, Mundelein Park District, Naperville Park District, School District 90 Green4Good Team (River Forest), Lewis University (Romeoville), Vernon Hills Park District, Warrenville Park District, First United Methodist Church of West Chicago Green Disciples, Go Green Wilmette, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, Hinsdale South High School ECO Club (Darien), Westchester Community Church, Glenbard South Key Club (Glen Ellyn), Lisle High School Ecology Club, York High School ECO Club (Elmhurst)

Haulers: & Composters Lakeshore Recycling Systems, Republic Services, Waste Management, Roy Strom, Advanced Disposal, Organix, Homewood Disposal, Independent Recycling Services, Prairieland Disposal


Walker School Awarded an Earth Flag by SCARCE and DuPage County

In November, Walker School in Clarendon Hills was awarded their Earth Flag in an outdoor ceremony with Eco Club students. Walker School previously earned an Earth Flag many years ago and chose to re-certify to revitalize their environmental efforts and re-educate their current school community. As part of the process, both students and staff had virtual training from SCARCE’s eco-experts. From there, the Eco Club helped lead the charge educating classrooms about Waste-Free Wednesdays in the lunchroom and making upcycled paper bead jewelry for an environmental fundraiser. The school also organized a litter clean-up of Route 83 as well as community recycling events. They even started a community collection center at school for hard-to-recycle items and donations. Well done Walker School!


Thanksgiving Weekend Cooking Oil Collection Sites Make Recycling Convenient for Residents

Each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving a handful of towns provide a temporary drop-off location for residents to recycle their used cooking oil. In addition to four permanent collection sites, SCARCE and the towns of Clarendon Hills, Elmhurst, Roselle, and Wheaton offered residents the option to drop off cooking oil locally making it easier for their residents to properly dispose of leftover or expired cooking oil. This event was first organized by SCARCE in 2013 and helps prevent sewer back-ups and protect water quality after a holiday that may have some families deep-frying turkeys in upwards of 4 gallons of vegetable oil. Thank you to both the permanent and pop-up locations for providing this service over the holiday weekend! All together, they collected 408 gallons of cooking oil for recycling in just one day! Learn more about cooking oil recycling here.

A community member drops off cooking oil in Elmhurst.

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