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Bob Sirott speaks with Mary S. Allen, Recycling and Education Director at Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County (SWANCC), about common mistakes people make when it comes to recycling, how things have changed due to COVID-19, and the General Curbside Recycling Guidelines.

For those interested, here are some General Curbside Recycling Guidelines. We also encourage you to check out this VIDEO from the Illinois Task Force for Recycling Contamination Solutions.

Believe it or not, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the way recycling is gathered. For the health and safety of workers, people that are exhibiting COVID symptoms or have tested positive should “bag” and “tie” their recycling and throw away in the garbage until they are well. Never put gloves, masks or PPE in the recycling cart. You should bag and tie those and put in the garbage cart.

Click HERE to listen. 

greencartTake a virtual tour of a Waste Management recycling facility. Click HERE to watch the video.

Recycling containers should be placed next to a landfill container, similar to salt and pepper shakers.  This gives people an option to make a choice at the “point of pitch”.  Label each collection container with “acceptable” materials.  Don’t WishCycle – only put in “acceptable” materials that are empty and clean!  Print these signs to educate staff and students! 

Suggestions for Lunchroom or Caferiteria recycling containers:



Suggestions for Building or Office recycling containers:


Four examples of Compost Signs for collection containers.  Pick the one that is concurrent with your program.

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Contact SWANCC

Contact SWANCC with your recycling and
waste reduction questions.

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