Post-Christmas Recycling: What You Need to Know

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Congratulations! You just unwrapped that beautiful new 65-inch 4K television you always wanted! Now, what do you do with that old TV? Before you haul it out to the curb along with strings of defective holiday lights and the tree, which is shedding needles by the pound, take a moment to understand how to dispose of these items as well as help the environment.

Let us start with that live tree, which is now looking like something out of a Charlie Brown Christmas. The Village of Park Forest will recycle that tree and put the resulting compost to beneficial use. Just take the tree to the Park Forest Aqua Center parking lot from December 26 through January 8 and place it in the designated area. The Aqua Center is located at 30 N. Orchard Drive, Park Forest.

As part of its agreement with the village, Homewood Disposal will also pick up trees on normal trash pick-up days, but if you want to be sure that the tree is recycled, the Aqua Center drop-off is your better option.

Of course, you need to strip off all those ornaments and lights before you can recycle the tree, so what do you do with all those strings of lights that do not work anymore? Fortunately, the Village of Park Forest has you covered there as well. Bring those light strings to the drop off box in the Village Hall lobby anytime through January 8. All lights collected will be recycled. The Village Hall is located at 350 Victory Drive, Park Forest.

Information on holiday recycling in Park Forest
Park Forest Holiday Recycling (Village of Park Forest flyer)

Frank Hillegonds, Municipal Manager for Homewood Disposal Service, reminds customers that Christmas lights should never be placed in your regular recycling bin as the wires, referred to as “tanglers” in the industry, cause havoc with the recycling machinery. If you cannot drop them off at the Village Hall, be sure you please the strings in the trash bin and not the recycling bin.

Hillegonds also requests that you keep the trash collector in mind and space out your bins and other trash. Be sure that all items placed in the recycling bin are acceptable. For a reminder of what is allowed, please see this eNews article from earlier this year or visit the Homewood Disposal Service website. Regular Christmas wrapping paper can be placed in your recycling bin, but metallic paper cannot be recycled and needs to be placed in the trash.

Now, back to that TV. No, you cannot just haul it out to the street and hope it gets picked-up. However, Homewood Disposal will collect up to two TVs per household per year in Park Forest with prior approval. Residents need to complete the online request form or call 708-798-1004 to schedule a pick-up. Homewood Disposal will provide the date when the pick-up occurs. TVs placed on the curb without prior approval from Homewood Disposal will not be picked-up.

Since you have Homewood Disposal coming to take that old TV, how about looking around for other electronics that could collected at the same time? This would be a wonderful opportunity to rid yourselves of those old computer monitors, VCRs, DVD players, printers, video games, and laptops. Think of it as an early Spring e-cleaning!