Thu September 1, 2011

trib local

It's Easy Being Green

Originally published September 1, 2011 by TribLocal Deerfield

West Deerfield Township offers two new services to eco-conscious residents.

Where can you recycle coffee grounds, lawn clippings, vegetable peelings and used clothing, all in the same place? Your West Deerfield Township office, of course.

A community composting bin and a textile recycling depository are recent additions to the grounds of the township office, located at 601 Deerfield Road in Deerfield.

"We are fortunate to serve very generous and ecologically-responsible people in our township," said Julie Morrison, West Deerfield Township supervisor. "These new services are a natural response to our residents' social responsibility and general kindness."

The community compost bin, recently installed along the fencing at the south end of the township building parking lot, is the brainchild of one such resident, Deerfield High junior Christina Looby. Seeking her Gold Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Girl Scouts of America, Christina approached the township with the proposed project in late June.

"We are happy to partner with Christina to provide the compost site," said Supervisor Morrison. "It is a great idea which will benefit the whole township, and be a wonderful hands-on teaching opportunity for families."

Residents can both contribute to the compost bin, and take compost for use in their own gardens. Lawn trimmings, leaves, and kitchen waste, like egg shells, pasta, or fruit and vegetable peelings, are all welcome. Residents can deposit their materials any time during the spring, summer and autumn months.

The bin will be maintained by Christina and other Girl Scouts in her troop #3256.

While you are at the Township office composting, drop a bag of old clothes in the new recycling bin, near the south entrance to the building.

USAgain, an eco-friendly company based in West Chicago, is responsible for setting up the textile recycling bin, due to be installed August 27-28.

"Township residents often call our office asking where they can donate their old clothes," Morrison explained. "They don't just want to throw out things they can't use anymore, but don't always know how to arrange a pickup of their stuff, or want to try to remember the date to leave it on their front step. Now they can just throw it in the car and bring it over to the township."

All types of clothing or shoes, bedding, or even old fabric remnants are appropriate for the bin. USAgain will remove the donated items as often as needed, Morrison said, and send items that can be worn to relief agencies around the world. Clothing or others items that are unusable will be recycled into insulation, building materials or even paper. Even zippers and buttons can be removed for use. West Deerfield Township will receive 2 cents for every pound of clothing collected.

These funds will help support the West Deerfield Township food pantry, also housed in the Township building.

"It's a win-win situation," Morrison noted. "People have a convenient place to recycle their old clothes, and the food pantry benefits."

West Deerfield Township's food pantry serves 175 local individuals and families in need on a monthly basis.

"The Township is really committed to helping its residents - and keeping our community clean," said Morrison. "Our residents care about other people, and they care about the environment. We're happy to help them in ‘being green.'"

For more information about these two programs, contact Julie Morrison at the West Deerfield Township office: 847-945-0614, or