EFFINGHAM — A line of vehicles were in place even before the Community Recycling Event opened at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Effingham Performance Center.
For some, it was a chance to get rid of white office paper with the help of a Shred-It truck, giving households and owners of businesses the feeling of security that information won't end up in the wrong hands, and to recycle the paper products as well.
For others, it was a day to de-clutter basements, offices and garages of antiquated or non-usable electronics.
A tub full of household batteries, hundreds of plastic water bottle caps and plastic bags also were collected.
“Isn't it nice to see people in line who want to get rid of stuff, but don't want it dump into the gulley?” said Debbie Womack with First National Bank of Waterloo, one of the main sponsors of the recycling event.
The nonstop line was a sure sign that the people in Effingham County want to recycle, according to Sarah Ruholl Sehy, founder of Effingham Recycles.
“We keep hearing from the (Effingham) County Board that people don't care about recycling,” said Ruholl Sehy. “The board says it is a niche issue. That's not right. And this is proof of it.”
Throughout the morning, vehicles were lined through the EPC parking lot and down Outer Belt West.
“They had to call in a second truck for electronics,” said Ruholl Sehy. “The final car (in line) was emptied out by our volunteers shortly after noon.”
Tim Miller of Altamont said the event was "a good thing."
“This way everyone can get rid of stuff so it doesn't end up in the dump, where it doesn't need to be,” said Miller.
Claudia Roedl of Teutopolis strives to recycle whenever she can. Saturday she was recycling paper, but when possible she will recycle metals too, she said.
"I think this is great," said Roedl. "We need more of this in the community."
Brothers Beau and Chance Morrison of Altamont arrived with a trailer of goods — stove, washer, dishwasher and televisions.
“My grandpa had a rental business and this is stuff from his properties,” said Beau Morrison. “I think we might have one of everything here.”
Chance Morrison wondered after seeing the long line if the event should happen more than once a year.
This is the second year Effingham Recycles got involved and worked to find an electronics recycler, Midwest Recycling Center.
“It’s important because a lot of electronics are banned from land-filling and need to be disposed of properly,” said Ruholl Sehy. “Without an outlet for those devices, we’re left with either violating the law or stashing it indefinitely around the house.”
Ruholl Sehy said among the items she saw being recycled were vintage stereo equipment, radios and radio equipment, clock radios, computer towers, tablets, cellphones, Christmas lights and a bug zapper. Even some outdated optometry equipment was recycled.
Ed Wojnar and Doug Neller, both of Altamont, conserved fuel and came together in one vehicle.
“We're amateur radio operators and we're bringing our old electronic devices here,” said Wojnar. “We found out about this through the Effingham Radio Club that I belong to.”
Wojnar said he strives to recycle things that could easily cause a problem for the future, such as microwaves, televisions and radios.
“We're pretty conscious of recycling in the radio club,” he said.
“It's great that the City of Effingham is thinking about us and helping us to get rid of things,” said Wojnar. “If you have to wait a little bit, well so be it. I'm not complaining.”
Dawn Schabbing can be reached at email@example.com or 217-347-7151, ext 138