With the city of Champaign’s drop-off center slated to close on Dec. 31st, what recycling options do residents outside of city limits have available to them? Well, according to this map provided to SP by Susan Monte, Champaign County’s recycling coordinator, the answer to this question, at least for those residents who don’t live in the few municipalities that currently provide curbside or drop-off recycling, is absolutely none.

Although we can be happy that quite a few of Champaign County’s residents have access to some kind of recycling program (often a private hauler charging an extra fee to take recycling), there are still many residents that will be left high and dry. For example, on Jan. 1st, residents of the following county municipalities will no longer have access to any official recycling program/service: Ludlow, Foosland, Fisher, Gifford, Thomosboro, Bondville, Sidney, Sadorus, Pesotum, Broadlands, Allerton, Longview or rural Champaign County in general. And, as you can see by this map, the second and third most populous cities in Champaign County (Mahomet and Rantoul) only have curbside recycling services provided once a month. That’s a lot of newspaper and plastic piling up in the garage! The only city outside of Champaign/Urbana/Savoy to offer weekly curbside pick-up is St. Joseph.

A few months ago a solution to this problem emerged from the private sector: a start-up business called Green Purpose, LLC expressed their hope to fill the void by operating a recycling center at 47 Kenyon Rd, just up the street from the current Hagan Street recycling site (conveniently located just off the Neil St. exit ramp to I-74). The center would be available to anyone for a low monthly fee of around 5 dollars. In addition, Green Purpose plans to operate a recycled/repurposed product store on-site as well as conduct educational workshops and other community outreach initiatives.

Currently, Green Purpose is signing up members on their website at http://www.reuseanomics.com/, although the opening of their proposed center has been delayed by the need for a site rezoning hearing with Champaign County (scheduled for mid-January, 2011). In the meantime, as of Jan. 1st, many recycling-inclined county residents will have no option but to dispose of their recycling in landfills.