Our speaMary Allen and Wendy Morganker was Mary Allen from the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County (SWANCC) who gave us an overview of the Agency and its mission to reduce the amount and toxicity of our refuse.
She focused on what should and should not go into our curbside recycling bins and how to dispose of those items that cannot go into the curb bins.  Specifically she is trying to spread the word about the recent law that bans many types of household electronics from landfills; and the care we must take when disposing of excess pharmaceutical drugs, especially if they are classified as controlled substances.
Mary made sure to emphasize how SWANCC’s website has much of the information you need to answer your questions about how to safely dispose/recycle different types of items.  Their series of videos and links to their various brochures and other publications are great resources made available without needing to print them out.  As she wrapped up, she handed out reusable tote bags that came in their own self-contained bag as well as jar openers made from recycled tires.  Most impressively, she said the tote bag would easily fit back into its sack.  I was skeptical, seeing as how I have never been able to successfully fit a poncho, camping tent, or anything that unfolds back into its original packaging.  But sure enough, that thing squeezed back in without much effort (or special folding!).
Alexander C. Todd