Environmental Defenders of McHenry County

Citizens working for a healthy environment

Home Up About Us Calendar Connections Join Now             



Recycle wood for our planet

By Darrell Moore
The Northwest Herald Recycling Round-Up November 20, 2006

Have you ever been asked if you owned stock in Com-Ed because you left the lights on when you left the room? I know I my dad has asked me that question.

Have you ever been asked if you own stock in the landfills because you threw your wood products in the trash? Well, you have now.

Wood comes from our trees, and trees do so many good things. They clean our air by filtering airborne pollutants and remove carbon dioxide from our atmosphere. They also reduce storm water runoff and conserve energy by shading our bodies and our buildings. We need to keep as many trees alive as possible. Recycling wood is a great way to preserve trees while reducing the need for new landfills.

There are countless uses for wood. This very paper you are reading comes from wood. In fact, the odds are the wood in this paper has been recycled a minimum of two times already (kudos to the Northwest Herald).

There are many things you purchase today that come from recycled wood: Pressboard, cardboard, wood chips and more. It has also become clear to me there is a shortage of wood - not because someone told me, but because I have noticed how difficult it is to find a solid piece of wood furnishing.

Most wood furnishings I see are pressboard with a thin layer of wood laminated on the top.

So, how can you conserve wood? Recycle it. The easiest way is to call a company that makes sure your wood gets recycled. Or you can rejuvenate it yourself. That old dresser you have - refinish it, paint it, sell it, donate it. There are plenty of people in need.

In addition, there are many crafts you can make. Timbers make a great picture frame, book shelf, tool bench or even jewelry. Take that old door, cut it in half lengthwise add some 2-by-10s for legs, and you have a bench - and a one-of-a-kind piece of furniture at that.

Whatever you do, don't throw that wood into a landfill. With so many things made from recycled wood, throwing it away is a waste of a valuable resource. I, for one, am not going to throw money in the trash, even though I do own stock in the landfills - by proxy.

If you want to make sure your wood debris is recycled pleased contact:

- Falcon Waste & Recycling Inc., (815) 334-8689

- Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Woodstock, Waukegan, & Elgin

- Illinois Fiber Products, Carpentersville, (847) 836-6176

- Midwest Forestree, East Dundee, (847) 220-0116

- ReUseIt Center, Batavia (630) 761-4240 www.reuseitcenter.org

Or, if you would like to try a craft project and don't have wood lying around, you can get recycled wood from the following (please call first):

- American Kestral, Harvard, (815) 943-3730

- Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Waukegan, (847) 623-1020

- ReUseIt Center, Batavia, (630) 761-4240 or www.reuseitcenter.org

- Darrell Moore is the solid waste coordinator for theMcHenry County Department of Planning and Development

The Recycling Round-Up column is a cooperative effort of the McHenry County Department of Planning and Development (815) 334-4560, the Lou Marchi Total Recycling Institute at MCC (815) 479-7817, the McHenry County Defenders (815) 338-0393 and the Algonquin Township Road District. Feel free to contact any of these groups with your recycling questions.


Environmental Defenders of McHenry County, 110 South Johnson Street, Suite 106, Woodstock, Illinois 60098
815-338-0393  mcdef@owc.net