Benefits of Computer Recycling for the Environment

We know that for many people, it’s easy to let “e-waste” pile up. Technology evolves rapidly, which means that your computer, iPad, smartphone, and other devices can become outdated pretty quickly. As a result, some families don’t always get around to recycling them. Here at Lakeshore Recycling Systems, we want our Chicagoland customers to know that there are actually a variety of tangible benefits to recycling computers and other equipment. As always, you can visit one of our recycling facilities and drop off your old, outdated electronics today.  The following is a look at some of the benefits of recycling old electronics.

Save Landfill Space

Even though Lakeshore Recycling Systems does not own any landfills, many other businesses do.  As we mentioned, technology evolves pretty rapidly, so it’s not a surprise that e-waste is becoming a larger presence in landfills, which is not the proper way to dispose of your old electronics. Recycling old electronics can help conserve landfill space and provide other environmental benefits, including properly disposing or recycling of certain materials.

Recover Valuable, Hard to Find Materials

Your computer contains a variety of metals and other materials that could be recovered during the recycling process. Materials like copper, gold, aluminum, and certain plastics can all be found in your old computer. Instead of sitting in a landfill, all of these things can find another life in new electronic equipment.

There is another benefit as well. Mining or producing all of these materials can have a potentially serious environmental cost. To find specific minerals, companies need to mine. To produce plastics, companies need to use factories that produce greenhouse gas emissions. Recycling your computer can give these valuable materials a chance to be used elsewhere, without an environmental cost.

Properly Dispose of Hazardous Materials

In addition to recycling valuable materials, your old computer actually contains some hazardous materials as well. While they don’t pose a threat while they’re in use or sitting in your house, they can actually cause issues if you simply dispose of them in a landfill and don’t recycle them properly. Materials like lead, mercury, and others can all be found in electronics like computer monitors. If your e-waste is disposed of improperly, these materials can actually seep into the soil and water. Our Chicago recycling center can properly dispose of e-waste for you and help ensure that your old electronics don’t have negative effects on the environment.

Job Creation

Recycling computers can also have another surprising benefit. It creates job opportunities for people in your area. Recycling facilities, like ours, require skilled workers who can help sort through waste and recycle things properly. That means that certain materials can be recovered, cutting down on emissions that would be created when new components are manufactured.

Supporting Your Local Community

When evaluating the possibility of recycling your computers, you may notice you have one that can actually be refurbished. Many charitable organizations can take them and give them to people in need or local schools. This helps your community get access to useful technology, without the need to manufacture a whole new computer. This reduces greenhouse gas emissions and energy use, while helping your neighbors.

There are many important reasons why you should dispose of your old electronics properly. At Lakeshore Recycling Systems, we’ll help you dispose of your e-waste properly so we can all reap the environmental benefits.

4 Ways Technology is Innovating Waste Management

No matter what industry you’re in, new technology is eventually going to come along and change the way business is done. That’s why all of us here at Lakeshore Recycling Systems pay attention to the latest advances and newest tech industry. These efforts help us deliver the best possible services to our customers here in the Chicagoland area. Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways that technology is innovating in the waste management sector.

Turning Waste Into Energy

One of the biggest innovations coming to the waste management industry is the ability to turn waste into actual power. Instead of sitting in a landfill, certain types of waste can simply be converted into energy. New machinery known as “digesters” can take the waste and the biogas it produces and turn it into energy that can be used on site. This kind of technology can be used on a variety of waste, including food, animal waste, agricultural leftovers, and more.

Thermal conversion is another new technology that can be used to convert waste into specialty products. This process takes some cues from natural geothermal processes that use heat and pressure to turn useless materials into useful products. It could be used to turn waste into chemicals, fertilizes, oils, and other things that could give your waste another life.

Some landfill gas can even be converted into energy. This kind of gas would normally be released or flared, but now it can be turned into energy with the aid of some new technology. Bioreactors, microturbine technology, and even fuel cells can now be used to do something useful with waste. (Note: Lakeshore Recycling Services does not own landfills)

New Ways to Recycle Precious Metals

So many products and industries require the use of precious metals. Because these minerals are so useful, they can be rather expensive. These materials, which include platinum, palladium, and iridium, can be used as catalysts in a wide variety of industries, including the automotive and chemical sectors.

New methodologies like plasma arc recycling can help our society meet rising demands for these materials. This tech can recover a vast majority of the platinum metal found in a vehicle or other object by using a super-hot plasma torch. Instead of mining for new ore, we can just reuse these materials and give them a second life.

Advances in Route Efficiency

While it’s not as cool as creating energy from waste or using plasma lasers, some technology has helped waste removal companies, like ours, optimize routes and improve efficiency. Advanced software has made it easier to plan out routes that can efficiently guide waste collecting trucks. This not only makes it easier to collect the waste and recycling materials that need to be collected. It also makes collection more fuel-efficient and reduces energy usage.

New Collection and Disposal Technology

New sensors can let waste management companies know that bins are full and need to be serviced. New types of screening technology can sort through recyclables quickly and efficiently, which takes the work out of the hands of consumers and encourage higher recycling rates. At Lakeshore Recycling Systems, we’ll keep incorporating the latest technology into our waste disposal and recycling efforts to make sure that we’re delivering the best services to our customers and doing our part to preserve the environment.

How To Dispose of Furniture: Make a Plan

Here at Lakeshore Recycling Systems, we can handle most of your waste disposal or recycling needs. Unfortunately, the same rules don’t govern every type of object or material. That’s why you can count on our expertise regarding the best way to dispose of certain things.

As you declutter your home or office, figuring out what to do with furniture could be tough since it can take up a lot of space and it can be hard to decide the best method for getting rid of it. What’s the eco-friendliest way to get rid of it? Can it be recycled? If it’s in good condition you can sell it or donate it, but what if there’s no nearby place to drop it off? What if you don’t want to go through the hassle of listing it for sale and not being able to get rid of it right away? We understand all these issues, and we can help you figure out the best solution.

Throw It Away

If you’re doing a larger cleanup of your home or office, one of our waste services can help. We have roll-off containers in a variety of sizes and many of them can accommodate furniture. If you’re going through a small remodel or a larger office overhaul, these containers can help you get rid of the things that you no longer need. We’re one of the largest providers of roll-off operations in the Chicagoland area and you can rely on us 24 hours a day.

We can also help you with bulk pickups. If you have a lot of furniture to get rid of, our Chicago waste removal experts can come to your home or office to remove couches and other furniture. Contact us at (773) 685-8811 to schedule a pickup today.

Recycle It

If you or your company have ambitious sustainability goals, you may want to recycle whatever you can. Naturally, that applies to furniture as well. Many types of furniture can be recycled. We take every step possible to find ways to recycle everything that comes through our facilities, since we do not own a landfill.

Wood furniture can potentially be recycled into paper products. Furniture with metal or plastic components can also find a new life. This is the perfect way to get rid of furniture that might be too damaged to donate or sell. Our recycling facilities can help you get rid of your old furniture, environmentally.

Store It

If you don’t need to get rid of furniture right away or you’re just trying to declutter temporarily, you could store the furniture instead of throwing it out or recycling it. Many people utilize temporary storage facilities to store items until they can determine exactly what they want to do with them.

No matter what you want to do with your old furniture, the local waste removal experts at Lakeshore Recycling Systems are ready to assist you!  We have been helping residents and business owners throughout Chicagoland with all of their waste removal, recycling and construction services needs for 20 years. Contact us at (630) 377-7000 to learn more.

Formulating the Right Waste Management Plan for Your Restaurant

If you own or manage an eatery, you are probably constantly looking for ways to improve your bottom line. As a member of society, it’s likely that you’re interested in ways you can boost your sales while limiting your restaurant’s impact on the environment at the same time.

One way you can achieve both of those goals is to have a two-pronged waste management plan in place for your restaurant. The first part of the plan should include measures to reduce the waste your establishment generates. The second part should involve finding a waste removal and recycling partner that can help you cut your operating costs.

Steps to Reduce Waste

No matter what business you’re in, your organization is going to produce waste of some sort and your restaurant is no exception. While that’s the case, you can take steps to reduce the amount of waste your eatery generates and reduce your restaurant’s carbon footprint in both the short- and long-terms.

Here are some of the things you can do to reduce the volume of waste your restaurant generates and limit your establishment’s impact on the environment:

  • Order products that are packaged using less material
  • Ask your suppliers to remove, reuse and recycle shipping boxes
  • Purchase your drink mixes in concentrate
  • Use a beverage dispenser to serve carbonated beverages like sodas
  • Only use condiment bottles that can be refilled
  • Buy paper products made with recycled materials
  • Use linens, flatware and plates that can be reused
  • Rotate your perishable goods appropriately to avoid spoilage
  • Store vegetables and other perishable items in airtight containers that can be used repeatedly to prevent dehydration and waste
  • Prepare food to order to avoid prepping too much food and creating waste
  • Repurpose vegetable and meat scraps in soup stock
  • Buy your products from local suppliers whenever possible

Finding a Waste Removal and Recycling Partner

If your restaurant is located in or near the Windy City, you needn’t look beyond Lakeshore Recycling Systems to find local waste services in the Chicago area. For more than two decades, we’ve been partnering with businesses of all sizes to help them reduce their waste and lower their waste removal and recycling costs. And we can do the same for your restaurant.

When you make our local waste services in Chicago part of your restaurant’s waste management plan, we’ll help you determine how often you need to have your eatery’s trash removed and the days of the week that are most convenient for your business. We’ll also determine the size of the dumpster that’s best for your location and discuss our transparent, affordable fees.

We’ll even help you implement a recycling program at your restaurant. If you already have one in place, we’ll review your program and identify ways you can make it even more efficient and effective.

Whether it’s helping you to remain in compliance with health, safety and regulatory mandates, introducing cost-effective ways to remove waste or recycle, educating your employees about recycling or something else, we’re here for you. Learn more about the money-saving services Lakeshore Recycling Systems provides to Chicagoland businesses today.

Moving? It’s Time to Make a Choice in Waste Collection

Moving day is getting closer by the minute and you haven’t even started to pack up your home or business. While moving day may be approaching quickly, you still have time to minimize the amount of waste you generate during your move.

Here are some simple tips to keep waste to a minimum when you’re moving your household or your business to a new location:

  • Repurpose Used Shipping Boxes: In many cases, you can avoid having to purchase new shipping boxes simply by asking local retailers to save the boxes their goods are transported in for you. Just remember to pick them up regularly so the retailers will still have ample space to store the items they sell. Grocery stores and “big box” stores are normally great sources to find large used boxes.
  • Use the Packing Materials On Hand: While you may be used to buying new packing materials to wrap fragile things, you can often find materials that will do the trick in your home or business. Old newspapers, towels and clothing are just as effective at keeping delicate objects safe during a move.
  • Use Containers You Already Own: If you already have suitcases, backpacks and plastic bins, use them to pack up and transport your things. Doing this will save space and reduce the number of cardboard boxes you’ll need.
  • Sell or Donate Unwanted Items: Transporting things you don’t want to a new location is simply a waste of time, effort and resources. Go through your belongings before you move and sell or donate the things you don’t want.
  • Repurpose or Recycle Your Moving Supplies: Once your move is complete, make it a point to repurpose or recycle your moving supplies. If you don’t know anyone who needs your boxes, break them down and put them in your recycling bin for pickup. If you used towels to wrap your fragile possessions, donate them to a local animal shelter so they can be used in crates or for cleaning.

Choosing a Waste Collection and Recycling Company

Depending on where you’re moving, you may be able to choose the waste collection and recycling company that serves your home or business. Selecting the right waste collection and recycling company is one way you can minimize the amount of waste you generate long beyond the time it takes you to relocate.

If you’re moving to the Windy City, you’ll want to choose Lakeshore Recycling Systems for your waste removal and recycling needs because we offer a long list of valuable services at affordable prices. For more than 20 years, we have proudly offered local waste services in Chicago and surrounding areas and we look forward to serving you.

Here are some of the services we provide for homeowners and commercial properties in the Chicagoland area:

  • Waste Services
  • Recycling Services
  • Organics Collection
  • Roll-Off Services
  • Bulk Pickups

At Lakeshore Recycling Systems, we are as dedicated to the local environment as we are to the environment at large and our commitment shows in the variety of services we provide. We’re just as committed to our valued clients and we look forward to serving you for years to come.

To learn more about our local Chicago waste and recycling services, contact Lakeshore Recycling Systems today.

Tips for Reducing Your Thanksgiving & Holiday Waste

According to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Americans throw away 25 percent more trash during the holiday season. Just as alarmingly, people residing in the United States discard 33 percent more food around the holidays than they do during other times of the year.

What does all of this additional waste amount to? Approximately 25 million tons of extra trash being generated during the holiday season overall, or one million tons of additional trash being discarded every week that the holiday season continues.

Reducing Waste During Thanksgiving

While those figures are eye-opening, there are many things you can do to reduce waste on Thanksgiving and throughout the remainder of the holiday season. Although it’s tempting to use paper plates, especially if you’re expecting a large turnout for Thanksgiving dinner, you can reduce waste by using china instead. Even though you’ll end up having to do more dishes after dinner, you won’t be adding unnecessary waste to the nation’s landfills.

Another tip to prevent waste on Thanksgiving is to buy the right sized turkey and just enough trimmings. In a typical American household, 35 percent of a Thanksgiving turkey is thrown away and 25 percent of the household’s total Thanksgiving meal is discarded.

While buying an appropriately sized turkey and only enough sides to feed your guests are great places to start, you can do more to cut down on food waste during Thanksgiving if you still end up with leftovers. You can send your dinner guests home with leftovers, for example. You can also freeze leftovers to use to prepare soup down the line.

Reducing Waste throughout the Holiday Season

While reducing food waste may be your top priority on Thanksgiving, the holidays are filled with opportunities to reduce all sorts of waste. Here are some of the ways you can reduce waste throughout the entire holiday season:

  • Trim the list of people you’ll send holiday cards to so that less paper is consumed and thrown out.
  • You can save energy by putting your lights on timers so they’ll still go off if you forget to unplug them before bedtime.
  • Reuse boxes and packing materials when you ship gifts. Reuse gift bags you’ve received in the past to conceal gifts as well.
  • Buy gifts that don’t have to be wrapped, such as gift certificates, tickets to sporting events or concerts, or admission to cooking classes.
  • If you’re looking for a gift for that someone who already has everything, consider making a donation to a charity in the person’s name. You won’t have to wrap the gift and you may start a rewarding tradition of charitable gift giving around the holidays among your family and friends.
  • Use one gift to “wrap” another one instead of using traditional wrapping paper. If, for example, you’re giving someone a wool hat for the holidays, you can stick another gift like matching gloves or a scarf inside the hat.
  • Instead of wrapping gifts for your loved ones, hide them throughout your home and create a scavenger hunt for your family members to find them.

Of course, recycling is a great way to reduce waste all year long, including on Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season. Recycling is also the area of our industry in which we believe Lakeshore Recycling Systems can create the most positive change. To learn more about our recycling and local waste removal services in Chicago, contact Lakeshore Recycling Systems today.

Lakeshore Recycling Systems celebrates America Recycles Day

EachScreen Shot 2017-10-31 at 3.30.02 PM year, America Recycles Day raises sustainability awareness on November 15. This national holiday was created in 1997 to encourage our nation to recycle more, reduce waste production and buy recycled products. The day raises awareness of how Americans can recycle more as well as the impacts recycling has on our planet. This year you can participate in America Recycles Day by signing up for the #BeRecycled pledge and using the hashtag on social media to tell your friends and family how you plan to incorporate recycling into your life. Below are some ways that you can recycle on a day-to-day basis.

Learn what you can and cannot recycle

Many people do not know which items can and cannot be recycled, so researching what items your local recycling or waste company collects can make a huge difference in your recycling efforts. Don’t be afraid to contact your recycling collector to find out if one of your items is recyclable or not, and Lakeshore is always happy to help.

Buy recycled products

An easy way to introduce recycling into your life is by buying products that are recycled or buying from companies that include sustainability into all of their business practices. Doing this not only helps you recycle but also encourages companies to sell recycled products and change the way they operate to be more environmentally friendly.

Limit your food waste

A recent study from the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) said that 68% of food waste from households was still edible when thrown out. By making sure that most of the food you throw out is inedible that will reduce the amount of waste that is produced. When you do have to throw out food waste try utilizing a system like Lakeshore’s aerobic digester or a compost program so that your food waste can be converted into high-grade fertilizer used to help plants grow and thrive.

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By integrating these few tips into your life, recycling can be something that you do every day. Taking small steps towards sustainability really makes a difference in preserving the environment, which is the goal of America Recycles Day. Changing the world to be more sustainable starts with you.

Lakeshore Has Acquired DC Trash of Illinois, Expanding Service Foothold West of Chicagoland

On November 7, Lakeshore announced that we have acquired DC Trash of Illinois, an independent waste and recycling collection company in DeKalb County. With this acquisition, Lakeshore will gain six new residential municipal contracts, 40 new employees and over 30 vehicles into our growing fleet. Post-merger, DC Trash will continue to operate under its current corporate identity.DCLogo+LRS_FINAL copy

DC Trash, founded by Dan Christensen, has provided customers with waste and recycling collection as well as roll-off dumpster rental services. Both Lakeshore and DC Trash do not own a landfill and operates with both the customer and environment in mind.

In January 2017, Lakeshore acquired K. Hoving which shifted our services westwards with the facility in West Chicago. The DC Trash acquisition will now expand our services further west into uncharted Chicagoland service areas. Expanding our geographic foothold westward not only strengthens our growth that began with the K. Hoving acquisition but also spreads Lakeshore’s mission of providing environmentally responsible waste and recycling solutions to more of Chicagoland. To learn more about this acquisition, read the press release here

A Quick Guide To Composting

Here at Lakeshore Recycling Systems, we know that many of our customers are trying to lower their carbon footprint and “go green.” One way for businesses, governments, and individuals can commit to a greener lifestyle is by composting. This is a way to recycle your organic waste into compost, which can be used in your garden or houseplants to boost growth and deliver more nutrients.

How to Start Composting

If you want to start composting, there’s a few things that you need to do first. You need a compost bin, which is used to store everything. These can be made from different materials, including plastic and wood, and they’re available in different sizes. Then you need to find a good location for your compost bin. You’ll want to find flat ground that can accommodate a bin large enough for your composting needs. It should be easy to access all year round and it’s better to place it on bare soil instead of a harder surface.

What to Use

Now you’re ready to start adding composting materials. For compost you want to use “green” and “brown” materials. Green materials include grass clippings, weeds, hedge clippings, and peels from fruits or vegetables. Brown materials include sawdust, leaves, hay, and cardboard. You can even use coffee grounds, tea bags, and eggshells in your compost.

While there are many materials that you can use to compost, there are also many things that you should not add to your composting bin. Meat, bones, fatty food waste, or dairy products can all slow down the composting process. In some cases you can still have a usable compost, but the process will take longer. Some materials can actually make the compost hazardous though. Treated wood and similar additions should never find a place in your compost bin.

Once you have the required materials, you’ll want to create different layers of similar waste. When your bin fills up, you should turn it every couple of weeks. This will speed up the process, putting you well on your way to using your compost.

Using Compost

Once your compost is finished it can be used in a wide range of applications. Depending on your methods and materials, the time it takes for compost to be ready can vary. You’ll know that you’re good to go when the compost is dark and crumbles in your hand. You’ll also notice that it smells appealing and earthy, much like good soil.

Your compost can be used on house plants or outdoor flower beds. You can also put your compost around trees or create brand new planting areas for whatever you would like to add to your garden. No matter where you use it, you can be sure that your plants are going to be stronger and healthier than they were before due to the nutrients in the compost.

This is just one of the many ways that you can recycle your waste and live a greener life. For more tips and tricks, reach out to your local waste removal experts here in Chicago. We’ll help you with all of your recycling and waste disposal needs.

Lakeshore Recycling Systems Expands Illinois Footprint