In July 2016, Algonquin Township in McHenry county suspended its foam collection program for recycled material. The collection was suspended due to a decline in demand for the recycled material.
However, it was just announced that residents of Kane, Lake and McHenry counties will again have a place to put their foam products.
The Environmental Defenders of McHenry county has partnered up with the Algonquin Township Highway Department to bring back their foam waste collection. The collection reopened on August 1st at the highway department offices, 3702 Route 14 in Crystal lake, from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays.
Environmental Defenders already had monthly recycling drives accepting clean plastic foam products. A new partnership with U-Haul of Crystal Lake helps transfer the plastic foam waste from collection sites to an Elgin warehouse.
Dart Container Corporation, a major manufacturer of polystyrene foam products, picks up the materials and then takes them to its facility in Wisconsin where it will be upcycled, said Ken Santowski, owner of Chicago Logistic Service trucking company in Elgin where the collection trailer will be parked.
Ken Santowski has been one of the most influential recyclers in Kane and McHenry counties for the past 30 years.
“Our hope is that we can fill up a trailer a week,” he said. “Our goal is to quadruple the amount of Styrofoam that we are keeping out of the landfills.”
Santowski has previously picked up foam products from Algonquin and nine other sites in Lake and McHenry counties for free for many years. Santowski and his employees would make weekly trips to these locations to help his community become a waste-free society. Unfortunately, these collection sites were discontinued last July.
However, in the next few months, more foam collection sites will be reopened and new locations will be created in Algonquin, McHenry, Woodstock, and McHenry and Nunda townships’ road districts. Local businesses are also being considered as a possible pickup location for residents.
“We won’t say no to anyone,” Santowski said. “We are hoping to get many of the sites that we had opened up again.”