Illinois recyclers will honor three of their own this weekend. And Goodwill of Northern Illinois is among the winners.
The 68 Illinois Goodwill Stores will be honored as Recycling Heroes for their partnership with Dell Computers. Stores collect and recycle used ones. Northern Illinois District Executive Craig Grugel says the recycled amount is huge.
"We've pulled about 150,000 lbs of computers out of the landfill stream, and if you take a look at that number and project that across the entire state, you can see that number probably gets to about 1.5 million pounds."
Goodwill recycles more than computers. The stores collect tons of cardboard…metal…and clothes. And donations that don't get sold go elsewhere.
"We've literally been given through the folks that donate to our stores about a million and a half pounds of total materials, and those materials either become re-sellable, re-purposeable, or recyclable."
The Illinois Recycling Association hosts a dinner to honor recycling efforts. Executive Director Michael Mitchell says the dinner highlights local efforts.
"It doesn't mean they're a small grass roots organization or a company necessarily, but it means that what they've done is help spur recycling at the community level at the grassroots level."
Dell and other companies reimburse Goodwill for the recycling costs…providing Goodwill with more money for its jobs programs.
"The good news is there's a small market for these things too which enables us to get a little bit of money back."
Items Goodwill hasn't resold like this tie come in big boxes like this…get put into big bales like that…and go to third world countries or other recyclers.