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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Technotrash Adventures!

If you've ever brought some "technotrash" to the Library for our recycling bin, you may have wondered: what do they DO with this stuff?  Technotrash is a term for items like old CDs, DVDs and VHS tapes. These items can take several human lifetimes to degrade in a landfill so if you can avoid throwing them in the garbage, it's a worthwhile effort. We've been accepting certain kinds of technotrash here at the Library for several years and we gather that you find it a valuable service. With the budget issues that came to a head last year, it became clear to us that the recycling service we were using for technotrash was simply too expensive. We are very pleased to have found a local partner, MRC Polymers, Inc., in Chicago, who will take some of the most common technotrash items - CDs, DVDs, their cases and VHS tapes for free. All we have to do is drop them off at their 31st Street location. Learn more about it in our fun video short up above. (Yes, that's me, clearly on a day when I could have used a little more sleep!) Learn more about what MRC Polymers does with all of that plastic on their Web site.

I know there's a lot of information on the Web about going green, but don't forget our own "Green Resource Center," especially useful when you want local information about recycling.You can find details there on recycling computers, batteries, appliances, CFL bulbs and more, right here in the suburban Chicago region.

More good news: watch for our household battery recycling event in February, 2011. I'll post all the details here, but if you have dead batteries at home and aren't sure where to bring them, we'll be glad to help you out. One interesting thing I've learned recently about recycling - it's nothing new. Reading both Bill Bryson's latest book, "At Home," and Steven Johnson's "The Ghost Map,"  both non-fiction works, I've discovered that recycling has been around for centuries! Any time our ability to keep up with waste management hasn't been able to meet the challenge, there have been enterprising citizens willing to do the often-dirty work of collecting the refuse and finding creative ways to reuse it. It's a good lesson to keep in mind as we work to create new jobs and industries and protect our earthly resources - what else can we recycle into something new and useful? DPPL is very proud to be one of the libraries participating in the Illinois Library Association's "Go Green @ At Your Library" initiative so watch for more green programs & events this year.

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