We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop. — Mother Teresa
Turn Off Lights — Save energy whenever and wherever possible.
Make Your Home Energy Efficient — Good insulation and windows save energy and money.
Install Solar and/or Geothermal for your home — Take advantage of tax credits and reduce your carbon footprint.
Boycott Walmart — Search out more progressive businesses that pay a living wage and benefits. This may cost more in the short run, but will lead to a better world where people are more important than corporations.
Reduce Consumption — Not consuming is more efficient than recycling.
Repair — Repair rather than throw out.
Reuse — Reusing an item keeps it out of the landfill. Reusing is better than recycling. For example, plastic bags, especially ziplock bags, can be washed and used many times. Cardboard boxes can be repurposed. For household cleaners (liquid soap, shower cleaner, etc.) reuse one spray bottle and buy refills in bulk.
- The Idea Store At The Idea Store, we’re passionate about finding fun, functional, and creative reuse for the materials we often take for granted. This is the place you bring the stuff that you just don’t need anymore. See the donation guide.
Recycle — Recycle as a last resort (when you can't reduce, repair, or reuse). When you must buy non-biodegradable items, try to only buy those that you know are recyclable.
A quick chart of recyclable items is: Recycling Guidlines 2018.
A detailed interactive guide for Illinois is: Illinois EPA Interactive Curbside Bin Recycling Guide.
The information below is now over a year old. Call before depending on it.
- Curbside recycling makes it easy to recycle when available.
- Advanced Disposal Charleston and (Mattoon?). Single Stream - $10/month for pickup every two weeks.
- Coles County Sanitation and Recycling Charleston and (Mattoon?). Single Stream, but does not take glass and currently not taking any plastic (they are putting it in the trash) - $5/month for pickup once a month.
- Morgan Only in Charleston, does not take glass, and can put items in plastic bags so this does not sound like single stream - $12/month for pickup twice per month.
No rural coverage for any of the above. Most curbside pickup services take recyclables as a single stream - you do not have to sort.
Typically included are: cardboard, newspaper, magazines and catalogs, paper (not shredded), Mail, plastic bottles and jugs (leave caps on), glass jars and bottles (take caps off), tin cans, aluminum cans, clean aluminum baking tins, clean aluminum foil.
No plastic bags, dirty containers, rope, string, chains, garden hoses, paper cups, plastic utensils, drinking straws, clothes, electronics, glass panes, or glass dishware.
- Drop-Off recycling Howard's has drop-off bins at Mattoon City Hall and Mattoon Yard Waste Center. They do not take glass.
Common Items with Local Places to Recycle
We have either called or gone to the following locations to verify that they do take the listed items. Addresses and phone numbers are given below.
- Cardboard - Adult L.I.F.E. Academy, CCAR Industries.
- Newspapers - Porter Auto Body, Habitat Restore, CCAR Industries
- Magazines - Porter Auto Body, CCAR Industries
- Batteries - Home Depot takes single use and rechargable. Also Springfield Electric.
- lightbulbs - Home Depot takes compact fluorescent bulbs. Springfield Electric takes fluorescent tubes.
- Electronics - COM2 Recycling Solutions. Good Will takes computers.
- Appliances - Grose Appliances. They will pick up curbside appliances for free. No TV's.
- Drugs - Mattoon Police department.
- Metal - CCAR Industries takes tin cans. Mervis Recycling takes heavy metal like pipes, angle iron, etc. They pay you by the pound.
Local Recycling Locations
- Home Depot, 1301 Fort Worth Way, Mattoon 235-0700.
- any kind of battery, rechargeable or not
- non-tubular fluorescent bulbs
- no cell phones
- Springfield Electric, 1500 Old State Rd, Mattoon 235-5671.
- fluorescent tubes – $0.76 per 4 ft tube, $1.38 per 8 ft tube. If you have a bunch, they would like it if you could box them up and write on the box how many there are
- any kind of battery - the cost is per pound
- ballasts - the cost is per pound
- Porter Auto Body, 1607 Madison Ave, Charleston 345-7832, 2116 Lake Land Blvd, Mattoon 234-8855.
- newspapers, magazines, phone books
- Consolidated Communications, 1321 Charleston Ave, Mattoon, IL 61938.
- Habitat Restore, 520 W Lincoln Ave, Charleston 348-7066.
- Prairie Farms caps for recycling
- newspapers and plastic bags for reuse
- Mattoon Police Department, 1710 Wabash Ave, Mattoon 235-5451.
- out of date or leftover drugs – no liquids, no loose pills, no needles. The DEA picks them up to dispose of them.
- COM2 Recycling Solutions, 777 Windsor Rd, Charleston, IL 61920 345-3905.
- Goodwill, 228 Broadway Ave, Mattoon 295-1057, 562 W Lincoln Ave, Charleston 512-2178, both part of Wabash Valley Goodwill 812-235-1827.
- computers – you may wipe them first if you choose, they send them to corporate which wipes them and repurposes them
- Gently used clothes. Any that don't sell are turned into rags, but they don't have the policy of accepting items in bags marked “Scrap” as was reported in the paper.
- Adult L.I.F.E. Academy, 1617 Lakeland Blvd, Mattoon 258-5286.
- plastic caps, pull tabs, Coke caps
- cardboard, paper
- CCAR Industries, 1600 Lincoln Ave, Charleston 348-0127. Take around back to double doors between 9 and 2, push button for help.
- magazines, newspapers, shredded office paper
- tin cans
- Grose Appliances, 4340 Blue Stem Rd, Charleston 348-0966.
- appliances - refrigerator, washer, dryer, stove, microwave, dishwasher.
- no TV's
- Free pickup if outside your home, a charge if they have to help get it outside.
- They will strip them for usable parts, then send the rest to be recycled.
- County Market, 551 W Lincoln Ave, Charleston, IL 61920 345-7031 and 2000 Western Ave, Mattoon, IL 61938 235-5444.
- plastic bags - There are drop-off bins near the entrances (though not always in Charleston)
- Walmart, 2250 Lincoln Ave, Charleston, IL 61920 345-1222 and 101 Dettro Dr, Mattoon, IL 61938 234-2266.
- plastic bags - There is a drop-off bin near the entrance
Less Common Items
For other less common items to recycle, TerraCycle offers a range of free programs that are funded by conscientious companies, as well as recycling solutions available for purchase for almost every form of waste. You enter the type of product you want to recycle and it tells you how. Example - type in "food pouches".