Skokie Trustees Approve a Plan that Broadens Residential Recycling Opportunities

Skokie is trying to encourage broader recycling in the village by contracting with a company that will make it easy for residents to recycle used clothing and textiles, officials said.

The Skokie Village Board approved a contract last month with Simple Recycling out of Ohio that will implement a new program covering what is commonly referred to as “soft recyclables.”

Skokie Public Works Director Max Slankard said Simple Recycling “provides year-round curbside textile collection on the same day of residents’ recycling pick-up at no cost to the village or residents.”

Slankard said that the program is scheduled to begin this fall. George Issakoo, Skokie assistant to the Public Works director, said Simple Recycling provides residents with a plastic bag, which includes information about how residents can use the program as well as contact information.

Simple Recycling will also send out mailers to Skokie residents letting them know about the service before it begins, he said.

“Essentially what happens is that residents have this bag, they can put their textiles in there, place it out for recycling and then when Simple picks up the recycling bags, they replenish the bag and give the resident a new one,” Issakoo said. “They will make it as easy and convenient for the resident as possible.”

Under the program, the village will receive $20 per ton that is donated, which is not likely to come to much — maybe $1,000 a year, officials said.

According to Simple Recycling, 10 to 20 percent of materials the company collects will be sold to a local thrift store. Of the remaining 80 percent or so, 45 percent is reused internationally, 30 percent is recycled and converted into rags for various industrial purposes and 20 percent is recycled into fiber used for residential insulation, carpet padding and raw material for the automotive industry.

Only 5 percent ends up as waste, officials said. Paul Gardner, a representative of Simple Recycling, said the company’s philosophy is to “put this waste material to the highest and best use.”

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