JOLIET -- Will County residents cleaned out closets and cupboards to bring a record amount of items to the 15th annual textile recycling and home goods collection July 13-17 at the County Office Building.
This year’s event, which allowed people to bring home goods every day along with their textiles for reuse or recycling, weighed in at 34,752 pounds.
Will County Executive Denise Winfrey said, “We knew anecdotally that people were cleaning out closets and cupboards during the stay-at-home order and were anxious to find a place to dispose of their items. We were delighted to find out that this year’s collections more than doubled last year’s.”
The annual collection is sponsored by the Land Use Department’s Resource Recovery and Energy Division. It was delayed from May to July in response to the stay-at-home order due to the pandemic.
In 2019 the collection netted 12,298 pounds of textiles and home goods. The 2018 total was 7,800 pounds. In 2017 and 2016, respectively, the totals were 5,955 and 4,095 pounds. In 2016 only clothing and shoes were collected.
The annual event began in 2005 and only shoes were collected.
“As you can see, there is clearly a pent-up demand for this type of collection,” said Marta Keane, the county’s Recycling Specialist. “We are thrilled that hundreds of people came over the course of the week to keep so much material out of our landfill.”
The contractor for this year’s event was Helping Hands, a local thrift store supplier and a global reuse and recycling organization.
As usual, WJOL’s morning show with Scott Slocum rounded up the week with a remote broadcast at the County Office Building, 302 Chicago St., on Friday, July 17. Slocum talked to county staff about green initiatives.
The Land Use Department is under the County Executive’s office and is led by Director David Dubois.