Mandated recycling is a relatively new practice in Forest Park, having only been introduced in November 2006. Roughly 19 percent of all the waste collected in the village is recycled and less than 25 percent of recyclable materials are diverted from the waste stream. The community has seen relatively substantial gains in the amount of recycling that occurs, however, due in large part to the use of larger, more convenient recycling bins.

Each residential unit is given 18 and 64 gallon bins at no cost. The waste contract ensures that a collection service will be provided once a week. According to Katie Murphy, assistant to Director of Public Works Bob Kutak, residents pay a fee of $2.94 every two months for the collection service. That fee, however, is set to increase as part of the new 2008 budget.

The contract with Allied Waste Industries, Inc., a company that provides collection, recycling, and disposal services to residential and commercial consumers, will end in December of 2010. Allied Waste also collects landscape waste, such as branches, shrubbery, and leaves.

Forest Park resident Brighid Hanrahan is pleased with the program, and said the service is convenient.

“The bins were easily provided, and there’s less trash around,” Hanrahan said.

As stated in the contract, Allied Waste is responsible for advertising and promoting the recycling program. Brochures are issued at least once a year, and include such information as how to prepare materials for pickup, pickup times, and acceptable recycling materials.

A link on the municipality’s website for the recycling program has not yet been updated to include this information.

“We’re still trying to get the word out there,” Murphy said.

How to recycle

Garbage and recyclables are collected each Thursday. All recyclable material should be rinsed free of food and liquid. Flatten your cardboard boxes and place all recyclables into the bin. Recycling bins are available through village hall, where you can also report a lost or damaged bin (708) 366-2323. Writing your address on the recycling bin may help in recovering it, should it be lost or stolen.

Paper Recyclables
Cardboard boxes
Cereal boxes
Greeting cards
Phone books

Plastic Recyclables
Soda bottles
Flower pots
Shampoo bottles
Detergent bottles
Six- and 12-pack rings
(No plastic wrap, packing peanuts or hazardous waste containers)

Metal Recyclables
Aluminum cans
Aluminum foil
Clean paint cans
Empty aerosol cans
(No gasoline cans or hazardous chemical cans)

Glass Recyclables
Bottles and jars only, all colors
(No mirrors, window glass or ceramics)