Keeping green on a picture-perfect day at Flossmoor’s Recyclepalooza

A steady stream of vehicles traversed the Parker Junior High School roadway during this year’s Recyclepalooza event, and it was good news for anyone who wants a greener planet.
Tons of discarded household items were collected at the May 5 recycling festival, sponsored for the third year by the Flossmoor Green Commission.
As cars crossed the school parking area, drivers checked in at a number of stations – for electronics, metals, bikes and other sporting goods, American flags and smaller items like eyeglasses, foam containers and crayons.
Recyclepalooza started at 10 a.m. A half hour later, 25 large boxes were already filled to the brim with computer monitors and other hardware.
Armando Pantoja, the owner of AMG-Tek in South Chicago Heights, explained that none of the computer components will go to a landfill. His staff will extract metals like copper and gold from the computers and plastics will be recycled, perhaps to be used for asphalt.
“It will all be recycled,” he said. “Nothing will go to the land. If it goes to the land, I don’t make money.”
Pantoya also collected used televisions at the recycling event but said he will forward them to a processing company that is approved by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. That’s why a $20 fee was required for those dropping off TVs. 
Televisions can contain toxic materials, which is why only a select number of companies can handle their recycling, Pantoya said.
It was a picture-perfect day for the three-hour recycling event. Green Commission member Carrie Malfeo, who was in charge of operations at Recyclepalooza, said about 50 volunteers contributed their time during two shifts at Parker.
This year, the commission and Flossmoor village departments partnered with several other local organizations, including the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District, Homewood Public Works, Homewood-Flossmoor High School, Green Team clubs at Flossmoor District 161 schools and the Flossmoor Public Library.
“It’s a real community event,” Malfeo said.
According to the Green Commission, an estimated 500 cars made drop-off stops at Recyclepalooza. About 100 televisions were donated, and more than 50 cubic yards of metals. About 30 American flags were donated, along with an estimated 1,000 crayons and 15 pounds of markers. An estimated 100 pairs of eyeglasses were collected for distribution by the H-F Lions Club. 
One full pickup truck of plastic bags and wraps were collected, as well as four minivan loads of styrofoam and other foam products. Fifty bicycles were donated and two boxes of hotel shampoos and soaps were collected for Respond Now. Clothes, sporting goods and small household items filled a 15-foot panel truck. 


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