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

Lakeshore Recycling Systems Accelerates 2017 Regional Expansion, Acquiring Dekalb County-Based DC Trash of Illinois

Should I Recycle or Donate My Old Cell Phone?

Here at Lakeshore Recycling Systems, we know that it’s easy for e-waste to pile up around the home or office. The evolution of technology marches on, which means that you constantly need to upgrade the equipment that keeps your home and business running smoothly. As a result old computers, laptops, and more can start to take up a lot of space.

Although they’re quite small in comparison, old cell phones can also start to accumulate over the years. Some people may wonder what they should do with an older phone that’s no longer useful to them. One option is to donate it. Some businesses or organizations can take it and give it to someone in need, provided that your phone is still in working order. Another option is to recycle it. Some of our Chicagoland recycling centers can assist you with that. Below is a closer look at donating versus recycling old cell phones.


Many organizations allow you to donate your cell phones for a good cause. In some cases, they end up recycling it for you so it doesn’t matter whether or not your old smartphone works properly at the moment. These groups raise money for a wide variety of causes, primarily ones that concern phone usage and access to communication technology.

One example is Cell Phones For Soldiers, which takes in old cell phones and gives members of the United States military phone cards. This group collects the phones and then sells them to another company, using what money they make to buy phone cards for troops located overseas. Some organizations raise money to provide phone service for at-risk individuals, like senior citizens, while others let you choose what charity you want to donate to. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence can also take in your phones and give working ones to families in need. There are more than a few ways to get rid of your old phone for a worthy cause.


If you don’t want to donate your phone, it can’t just go in the garbage. Your phone requires many components to work, and some of those components happen to be toxic. Improperly disposing of toxic elements in your phone, could present a hazard for humans and animals. It pollutes the environment and releases harmful substances known as PBTs, also known as persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic chemicals.

If the PBTs pollute the environment, they cause a wide range of health issues, ranging from cancer to reproductive system problems. That’s why most areas have regulations concerning how they’re disposed of or recycled. Once properly dealt with, the components used in your cell phone can be used in a number of other products. Copper parts, plastic pieces, and other metal components can all be used again to build new products. You’re getting rid of clutter in your house, while ensuring that the manufacturing process for some other items is a little bit greener.

Both options are a great way to get rid of old cell phones that have been cluttering up desk drawers and office closets. Contact us at (773) 685-8811 today to see how we can help with any of your recycling needs.