Material drop-off draws thousands [The Pantagraph, Bloomington, Ill.]
(Pantagraph (Bloomington, IL) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Oct. 06--NORMAL -- Rob Jones planned to drop off items at the household hazardous waste collection Saturday, but ended up volunteering after his wife's coworker mentioned more help was needed.
"Most people are just thankful for the opportunity" to get rid of items like oil-based paint, gasoline and electronics, Jones said as he directed two lanes of traffic at the end of the vast Mitsubishi Motors North America parking lot.
The all-day event was on track to equal or break last year's record of 2,000 vehicles, said Michael Brown, executive director of Ecology Action Center in Normal, which hosted the state-funded event. Four hundred cars had snaked through the lot within the first 75 minutes.
"It's a really strong start," said Brown.
Workers and volunteers with Home Sweet Home Ministries unloaded electronics -- televisions, computers, vacuums, more -- and put them onto pallets. The goods will be sold to a recycling firm in Chicago, said ministries' retail director Chris Trimble. "It's a good revenue stream," he said.
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency contacted with Heritage Environmental to take "everything else," Brown said. Chemists in white coveralls put items in roll-off bins lined with heavy-duty plastic. A separate truck carried a tank to collect used motor oil.
Sam Carmany of Normal, a student at Heartland Community College, helped the ministries' staff unload trucks, cars and trailers. "It's my first time doing this," Carmany said. "I like helping people."
Chuck Palmer of Lexington didn't mind the 45-minute wait before his pickup truck bed could be emptied of paint, adhesives, anti-freeze and small electronics.
"I wanted stuff to be put away the right way," he said.
Jones, of Bloomington, was "very impressed" with the Heritage worker, who unloaded, sorted and tested the waste. "They're professionals," he said between waves and "thank you's" to drivers.
Jones said one trailer was so full that it took 15 minutes for workers to unload.
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