Where to Recycle
The McHenry County Recycling Directory, Green Guide, produced by MCC's Sustainability Center, offers current recycling information for appliances, batteries, electronics, motor oil, paint, tires, and more.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations were operating with reduced availability. Refer to their websites to confirm hours of operation.
- Recycling Resources
Recycling Tips – PPE, Take Out Containers and Delivery Packaging
Personal Protection Supplies: Gloves, masks, and alcohol wipes cannot be recycled in your curbside recycling cart. Terracycle has a collection box in three sizes you can order for your home or office. Please consider the reusable options for masks and wipes.
Take-Out Containers:Please decline any extras such as utensils, napkins, and excess condiment packets. Many take-out containers are not recyclable.
These can be recycled:
- Clear plastic tub-shaped containers (round or rectangle)
- Clear plastic clamshell containers
These cannot be recycled:
- Black plastic
- Thin, flat lids
- Foam or small sauce containers
- Any utensils
- Compostable containers (compost them instead!)
Delivery Packaging: Many online companies have low-impact shipping options, or combine items to use less packaging. Check out Amazon Second Chance for package recycling tips and re-use options, and search “Amazon Shipment Zero” for additional information about sustainability initiatives at Amazon.
Bubble wrap: Bubble wrap can be dropped off to recycle with your other plastic film items (grocery bags, cereal and cracker box liners, etc.). Do not put in your curbside recycling.
Cardboard boxes: Remove all packing material from box, flatten box, and recycle in curbside.
Plastic pillows or bags: Check for How2Recycle label on packaging, and follow that instruction. Plastic film with a #2 or #4 stamp can be recycled at grocery store programs. Pop the pillows before recycling.
Plastic envelope mailers: Most plastic envelope mailers (with or without bubble-wrap inners) can be recycled through grocery store programs but not in curbside recycling. Remove and dispose of label before recycling by cutting it off and placing in trash.
Paper envelope mailers:Because there are many different kinds of mailer envelopes, look for the How2Recycle label and follow instructions. If there is not a How2Recycle label, it is probably not recyclable.
Styrofoam: See Styrofoam drop-off locations in the 2021 Green Guide
The MCC Sustainability Center has been using Terracycle for a variety of hard-to-recycle items on campus, including coffee pods, pens, and dry erase markers. Visit www.terracycle.com to check out their zero-waste boxes.
Another good resource is www.How2Recycle.info. How2Recycle is a standardized labeling system that communicates recycling instructions. Many household brands are starting to use it—check your packaging!
- Neighboring County Recycling
- The Solid Waste Agency of Lake County (SWALCO) – offers an extensive list of recycling, donation, hazardous household waste disposal, composting resources, as well as information on the community organizations that provide services.
- Kane County Recycles - provides a comprehensive list of recycling and solid or hazardous waste disposal resources, as well as information about local environmental, conservation, and sustainability issues.
- Will County recycling resources.
- School and Community Assistance for Recycling and Composting Education (SCARCE) - SCARCE an award-winning environmental education non-profit dedicated to creating sustainable communities. SCARCE collects, recycles or reuses a large variety of items. Based in DuPage County, SCARCE covers most of northern Illinois and also includes recycling information for DuPage County.
- For the Community
- Information on state recycling grants for businesses and organizations, and educational resources for the public, teachers, and energy related financial assistance indicated below:
- Social Media Options to Sell or Give Away Items
You can reduce the amount of waste we have to throw away by applying the three R's to everyday life.
- Reduce the amount of waste you produce by only buying what you need.
- Reuse items as much as you can before replacing them.
- Recycle items wherever possible.
- Facebook marketplace – the most popular one for reselling almost anything.
- Instagram (website and app) – Instagram also functions as a local online marketplace, similar to Facebook.
- Amazon (website and app) – General item sale and resale website.
- Mercari (website and app) – General resale site.
- Letgo (website and app) – General resale site. Free to sell and no commissions.
- Gone (app) – Resale site for anything, including electronics. List your item(s) and Gone will send you mailing materials so you can ship your items to them to be sold.
- Newegg (website and app) – Leading tech reseller.
- Chairish (website and app) – resale site for high end furniture and decor.
- The RealReal (website and app) – Luxury resale site. The site sends the seller packaging and shipping label and if there are 10 or more items and live in a qualifying area, the site will send someone to pick up and mail the items for you.
- Ebay (website and app) - General item resale and auction
- Craigslist (website and app) - General ad posting for selling and reselling
- Rakuten (website and app) - Site does not compete with sellers.
- The RealReal (website and app) - Luxury resale site. The RealReal sends the seller packaging and shipping label and if there are 10 or more items and live in a qualifying area, the site will send someone to pick up and mail the items for you.
- Bookoo (website and app) – A “community yard sale” platform. Buy and sell items locally through a ‘classifieds’ system that allows you to meet the seller first to mitigate the chance of placing the buyer in dangerous situations.
- Carousell (website and app) – A site that allows you to sell almost anything, from cars to clothing. Listings can also be shared on social media and can be listed in 30 secs. There are no fees for buyers or sellers.
- varageSale (website and app) – Trading and selling site for anything you would sell at a garage sale, and for local communities. No fees and an emphasis on safety, so names and profile pictures must be verified.
- Recycler (website and app) – A classifieds site for a more specific range of offers, from selling cars, pets, or house/apartment rentals. Loyal buyer or seller based adds trust in communities.
- Etsy (website and app) – Art and vintage resale website.
- Poshmark (website and app) – Clothing resale app for designer clothing and accessories.
- Depop (website and app) – Clothing resale apps. Both accept wide varieties of clothing with everything being done in-app.
- Vinted (website and app) – Site for buying, selling and swapping clothing.
- Ebay (website and app) General item resale and auction website.
- OfferUp (website and app) – Essentially a local version of eBay. Bidding system based on proximity to seller.