Online Tool Eases Recycling Process in Illinois

by Glenn Hasek July 12, 2011 05:26

An innovative online tool launched at the recent Illinois Recycling and Waste Management Conference and Trade Show will benefit Illinois hotel owners interested in recycling. EcoPoint Illinois is the first comprehensive database of local and statewide recycling opportunities in the state, providing information from local government, and public and private sector recyclers about where residents can recycle anything from cans to computers. For example, if a hotelier wants to know where to recycle aluminum, paper, glass, or scrap metal, he can go to EcoPoint Illinois, find a recycling center or drop-off location within a few miles of his hotel, and get directions using Google maps. Illinois currently has a recycling rate of 37 percent, higher than the national average of 33.8 percent.

“People look at 37 percent recycling statewide and think that this is great, but we are far behind states like California where the recycling rate is over 50 percent,” said Paul Jaquet, president of Eagle Enterprises, Inc. and Illinois Recycling Association board president. “Actually, we should be recycling and composting at least 75 percent to 90 percent of the solid waste we generate.”

I took at look at EcoPoint Illinois and was impressed. One can search by material type or location as well as distance of your location from a facility. A search on "steel cans" in Chicago, 15 miles radius, produced four drop-off locations. Within 50 miles of Chicago there are 21 locations. Be sure to check out this helpful site. If you are not in Illinois, be sure to use Google to check for a similar site in your state. My state, Ohio, for example, has a site that lists recycling centers throughout the state. 


By Recycling, You Help to Create Jobs

by Glenn Hasek May 25, 2011 04:39

At last week's Hospitality Design Exposition & Conference I had an opportunity to chat with Mark Savel. He is with North Billerica, Mass.-based Sleep Inc. What intrigued me about Mark's company is that it not only sells high-quality mattresses, it also takes them back for recycling and then deconstructs them at its own facility in Texas. Very unique. Mark's company is able to generate new revenue from the sale of the materials removed from old mattresses: foam, steel, wood. Sleep Inc. is helping to stop the flow of mattresses not only to landfills but also to the retail market where used hotel mattresses are resold. Sleep Inc. is just one example of a company that is benefiting financially from recycling while taking a cradle to cradle approach to manufacturing. What Sleep Inc. is doing is helping to fuel a scrap recycling market that has exploded as of late.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the scrap recycling industry added 10,000 jobs between the first quarter of 2010 and the first quarter of 2011. Estimates put the industry’s total number of jobs at about 113,000. When you recycle, you also help to contribute to this industry that has grown 40 percent in monetary value since 2009. Earlier this month, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries released new industry facts and figures showing that in 2010 alone, more than 130 million metric tons of scrap metal, paper, plastic, glass, textiles, rubber and electronics were recycled. Valued at more than $77 billion, these materials were manufactured into specification grade commodities by the U.S. scrap recycling industry for sale as valuable feedstock material to industrial consumers in the United States and in more than 155 countries around the world. China, Canada, South Korea, Turkey and Taiwan were the top importers. Iron and steel are recycled most, followed by paper and aluminum.

When you recycle, know that what you are doing is not only good for the environment, it is good for the economy as well. Make sure your employees understand this. Perhaps it will give them just a little more incentive to participate in recycling. 



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About Me

Glenn Hasek is the publisher and editor of Green Lodging News. He has more than 20 years of experience writing about the lodging industry. He can be reached at or by phone at (813) 510-3868.