As local residents clean out their homes and garages each spring, they often find a number of unwanted items, from clothing and stuffed animals to bicycles and helmets.
The Kane County Recycling Program is making it easy to get rid of those materials, program coordinator Jennifer Jarland said.
From 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, residents can drop off their recyclable materials at the Recycling Extravaganza at the circuit clerk's office, 540 S. Randall Road, St. Charles. The county will appropriately distribute the items for reuse or reprocessing.
"We have a responsibility to recycle what we can," Jarland said. "Everyone should be doing it. It just makes sense."
Various companies throughout the suburban area collect specific materials, Jarland said, but it is often inconvenient for residents to travel from town to town for recycling purposes.
"This Extravaganza is great because it's a one-stop shop," Jarland said.
Residents can drop off electronics, books, fluorescent light bulbs, latex paint, confidential documents, clothing and linens, bicycles, and mobility devices such as wheelchairs and walkers.
Prohibited materials include oil-based paint, hazardous waste and Styrofoam.
Each item will be taken care of differently, she said. Bicycles and clothes will be given to Chicago-based companies for repair, resale or reuse. Document-shredding trucks will be available on site, and the paper will be recycled. Latex paint will be reused as paint or plastic.
"A lot of these things have value to somebody else," Jarland said. "Why would you landfill them?"
Jarland said this is the Recycling Extravaganza's third year, and about 1,600 cars show up each time. Participants rarely have to wait more than 10 minutes to drop of their materials, she said.
The event is free, but latex paint will cost participants $2.50 to dispose of one gallon. For more information, visit countyofkane.org/recycling.