For the second year in a row, the City of Evanston and Keep Evanston Beautiful are urging Evanston residents and businesses to recycle as many aluminum beverage cans as possible during October, designated “Evanston CAN Recycle!” month.

This year, residents have a new incentive; besides helping the city win money for its recycling program, residents can win new recycling roll carts for their own use.

The city is split into four area with garbage pickup on a different day each week, and residents of the area that recycles the most aluminum cans in October will be first to get new 65 or 95 gallon recycling roll carts for their area.

The carts are designed to replace the existing much smaller recycling bins. Studies have shown that people recycle more in communities that replace bins with the larger carts, reducing landfill costs for the community.

The city is planning to introduce the carts city-wide, but because of the initial cost of the carts has decided to spread their deployment over several years.

Evanston community members don’t need to do anything extraordinary to participate in the can recycling program. Simply make certain all of their aluminum cans are placed in recycling containers throughout the entire month of October. Groot, the city’s recycling hauler, will sort and weigh the cans.

Community members and organizations with large quantities of cans to recycle can make use of strategically placed dumpsters to participate in the refuse route competition. These recycling dumpsters will be appropriately labeled for the competition.

Cans dropped off at the Levy Senior Center, 300 Dodge Ave., and placed in the designated recycling dumpster will be counted toward Monday’s route; cans in the dumpster at Chandler-Newberger Center, 1028 Central St., will be counted toward Tuesday’s route; cans in the dumpster at the Fleetwood-Jourdain Center, 1655 Foster St., will be counted toward Wednesday’s route; and cans placed at Robert Crown Center, 1701 Main St., will be counted toward Thursday’s route.

Cans for any of the routes can be dropped off at the Ecology Center, 2024 McCormick Blvd.

“We have residents already requesting recycling roll carts; they are in hot demand,” said Suzette Eggleston, Evanston streets and sanitation superintendent.

Evanston has accepted the challenge to compete against other municipalities its size in the U.S. Conference of Mayors Cans for Cash program. The monetary prizes of up to $10,000 can be put toward enhancing Evanston’s recycling programs.

Evanston will compete in Division Three against other cities in the country with populations between 50,000 and 99,999. Last year’s winner was Des Plaines, which recycled 1,120,660 pounds.

Community members without residential recycling pickup by Groot are encouraged to drop off their cans at any of the listed recreation centers or take their aluminum beverage cans to the City’s Recycling Center, 2222 Oakton St. on Fridays, noon to 7 p.m. or Saturdays and Sundays: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Though Evanston wasn’t a finalist in the quantity of cans recycled against other Division Three cities in 2007, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Novelis Inc. and Keep America Beautiful, Inc., all sponsors of the Cans for Cash program, awarded $5,000 to the City of Evanston to help enhance its recycling programs, and $2,500 to Keep Evanston Beautiful (KEB), Inc., for the partner’s innovative marketing ideas.

For more information on Evanston CAN Recycle, call the Division of Streets and Sanitation, (847) 866-2940.

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