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Grundy County Land Use Dept. says keep recycling in winter months

Recycling efforts continue in cold weather months

The Grundy County Land Use Dept. promotes the 4 Rs: recycling, reducing, reusing, and respect of the earth.
The Grundy County Land Use Dept. promotes the 4 Rs: recycling, reducing, reusing, and respect of the earth.

Fall/winter composting

Dry leaves are the product of cooler temperatures and lack of sunlight. Racking and cleaning the yard for winter provides us with great fresh air and exercise. As many do not necessarily enjoy this form of exercise, one great way to get a benefit beyond that is to compost those leaves that you are racking up. Composting is a simple recipe that consists of your leaves or dead dry plants (carbon or browns), vegetables or fruit scraps (nitrogen or greens), moisture and heat. Placing your composter in a partially sunny location helps to provide the heat that you need. Winter is perfect for composting as the addition of dry brown materials mixed with greens, mixed in the spring time will provide for fertilizer to start your gardens.

Grundy County Land Use Department is selling composters at cost of $25 a piece until the end of November or until supplies last. Each composter has a single piece body made of recycled plastic, removable top lid, and sliding bottom door for ease of removing compost. You also can make your own composter that will allow for air infiltration in the form of openings, or purchase one from your local hardware store.

Opening burning in
unincorporated Grundy County

Dried landscape waste and leaves may be burned in unincorporated Grundy County or areas outside of cities and villages. However, to be considerate of others in residential areas there are rules that our office enforces concerning opening burning.

Must be dry materials to prevent excessive smoke for the neighborhood.

Only between Oct. 15 until May 1 on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and weekends from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Wind needs to be less than 10 miles per hour.

Burning must be located 20 feet from any building or structure on adjacent properties or from the property line.

Must be supervised and have a fire extinguisher or water source near to extinguish fire.

House preparation for winter

Have roof checks and cut back branches that may fall onto the roof.

Caulk cracks around windows and framing around door ways with a good exterior caulk that is rated for this use.

Check doors for complete sealing to prevent drafts.

Have furnace checked for proper functioning and change filters for the winter season.

Thanksgiving sustainability

The calendar inches us closer to friend and family gatherings for Thanksgiving and what a great time to look to being sustainable during this thankful holiday. A couple ideas include:

Use cloth napkins and table cloths that may be washed and used again instead of paper.

Buy food enough for the guests who will be coming to your party so leftovers are less.

Leftovers may be given to guests in plastic reusable containers or composted if vegetables or fruit.

Provide containers for the guests to properly recycle cans and bottles made of glass and aluminum.

2019 CFL Recycling Pilot Program

The Grundy County Community Foundation through the Teen Philanthropy Program was generous to give us a grant for the recycling of CFL bulbs. This pilot program will only be for the next year or until recycling CFL containers are gone.

We ask that in order to participate in this pilot program residents do the following:

Limited to 5 CFL bulbs/month per household to allow everyone to participate.

Bulbs must be whole and placed into a zip lock bag.

Provide bulbs to a staff member – do not leave bulbs on counter of office.

If this recycling pilot program is successful, we may continue it in the future with a larger unit.

Paper retriever bins
removed at County Building

The Paper Retriever bins were removed from the County Building based on recent charges that we were given by Paper Retriever. Unfortunately, the Land Use Department budget does not support these payments.

We apologize for this inconvenience and ask that you continue to use other Paper Retriever bins in the County. Please reference our 2019 Green Guide for those locations on our Environmental and Resource Conservation office webpage at

Give gently used children’s

This year we will be having our gently used children’s toy and book collection from Nov. 8 until Dec. 13. These generous donations are distributed to needy children as gifts for Christmas. The collection sites will be at our Administration Building, and libraries located in Morris, Coal City, both Three Rivers public libraries in Channahon and Minooka and Fossil Ridge. All of the children’s toys will be distributed by Mazon’s Toys for Joy program and the Chicago Rotary. Our department has been completing this event for the last ten years and are always surprised by the generosity of Grundy County residents.

Please feel to contact my office either by email at or 815-941-3229 if there are any questions.

Thank you Grundy County for being environmental stewards and have a wonderful holiday season as you care for your friends, families and our planet.

• Heidi Miller is the director of the Grundy County Land Use Department

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