The Daily Northwestern

Evanston groups participate in annual recycling event at ETHS

Evanston Township High School. The school hosted a mass recycling event on Saturday.

Evanston Township High School. The school hosted a mass recycling event on Saturday.

Daily file photo by Allie Goulding

Daily file photo by Allie Goulding

Evanston Township High School. The school hosted a mass recycling event on Saturday.

Zoe Miller, Reporter

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Evanston residents brought their recyclable garbage to the annual Evanston Recycles event at Evanston Township High School on Saturday.

The city has worked jointly with the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County to host the annual event, which is now in its seventh year. ETHS has collaborated with the city to host the last four editions.

“We approached the school because we needed a larger space to hold the event, “ said Kevin Johnson, the city’s recycling and environmental maintenance supervisor.

Several other Evanston companies and groups offered their services in recycling various materials. The waste agency took responsibility for recycling electronics, while other groups recycled or safely disposed of a wide variety of other types of waste.

The environmental impact of recycling the amount of materials at the event is significant, said Paul D’Agostino, Evanston’s bureau chief of environmental services.

“It’s huge,” D’Agostino said. “This stuff would potentially end up in the landfill, (but instead) we can recycle 20 tons worth of stuff.”

NorthShore University Health System participated in the event in order to recycle medicine bottles and safely dispose of medicine. The hospital incinerates the medications, keeping them from leaching from landfills into local drinking water.

Beyond the water safety effects, NorthShore safely disposes medication to prevent it from being abused or otherwise used improperly.

Other groups recycled objects by reusing them for charitable cause. The Sunrise Lions Club, a service group, organized the recycling of glasses and hearing aids by arranging for them to be donated to people whose needs they fit.

The American Legion Post 42, a local branch of a U.S. veterans organization, attended the event to take donations of American flags. Member Bob Kacynski said the post wanted to recycle the flags in a way that they feel is more respectful to the flags’ symbolism than simply throwing them out.

“The American flags need to be retired in a proper manner,” Kacynski said. “When you have an old flag you have people say, ‘Well, we can make clothing out of it.’ Well, that’s disrespectful. … What we try to do is give the flags an honor on the way out.”