Recycle Guide - Homewood-Flossmoor Area Green Committee
Download brochure - This helpful guide will show you which local businesses accept your recyclable materials.
Homewood Disposal Accepted Recycling Items
For more information, please visit - www.mydisposal.com/resources/recycling-guide
USE OF CHEMICALS IN OUR PARKS
There is a large dichotomy of opinions on maintaining turf conditions in parks. Many residents expect to see the parks in pristine condition without weeds, while others are more weed-tolerant. Based upon the use of each park, some may demand less weeds, for example on a groomed ballfield or golf course, where other parks may have dedicated open space that require less stringent weed control. Our team of experts have a goal: Use the smallest amount of the least toxic chemicals to achieve the desired result for the specific use of each park. With this in mind, the park district also uses natural soil conditioners as alternative solutions in some of our parks and at the golf course to increase the grass health to help choke out weeds.
CHEMICAL FREE PARKS
This year two more parks received zero chemical intervention, Hollydale and Heritage Parks, bringing the total to 11. Chemical-free parks are listed here:
- Butterfield Park
- Cedar Park
- Extreme Scene Skate Park
- Lions Club Pool (inside pool fence)
- Pheasant Trails Park
- Pinehurst Park
- Rover’s Run Dog Park
- Scandia Park
- Irons Oaks Environmental Learning Center
We are planning on adding Leavitt Park to the chemical-free parks in 2020.
While our other parks are not chemical free, we have significantly reduced the amount used over the last five years and will continue to reduce even more in the future. We have an amazing team of experts who look for ways to produce the desired results using the least toxic chemical intervention. In fact, one of our employees recently gave a presentation at the Village of Homewood titled: Environmentally Friendly Lawn Management. This fall we will again apply natural soil conditioners (bio-solids and biosolid compost) to Coyote Run Golf Course and several parks in an effort to produce full and healthy grass.
The Park District uses a third-party provider to maintain turf conditions and weed control in the remaining parks (not including Coyote Run Golf Course). Over the last three years, we have reduced the applications from five per year to three per year, and next year we will reduce some of those parks to only two treatments. Our agreement with the provider is to use the smallest amount of the safest products to achieve the conditions needed for each park.
The Park District will continue to monitor best practices and alternative solutions to turf management and adapt our practices on a regular basis as new information becomes available. We are definitely open to change and always strive to meet the needs of our residents.
WILEY'S GRILL GREEN INITIATIVE
Here’s how Wiley’s Grill is making a difference:
- We only use paper straws
- To Go orders are packaged in a recyclable/compostable/biodegradable plastic bag
- We ask if people ordering To Go want disposable cutlery instead of including it every time
- To Go cutlery is biodegradable
- Kitchen scraps are composted
Strawless Ocean Initiative
Are you following the Stop Sucking movement? Did you know we throw away 500 million plastic straws in America every day? The HFPD supports the Strawless Ocean initiative by not offering straws at Wiley’s Grill. If you want a straw, we will provide one, all you have to do is ask. However, our straws are made from compostable material. They cost 5X as much as the cheap plastic ones that don’t compost, but we want to make a difference. Please visit https://www.strawlessocean.org/ to learn more about the movement to clean the oceans of plastic straws. Pledge to become part of the solution by just saying NO to straws everywhere you go!
COYOTE RUN GOLF COURSE ENVIRONMENTAL MISSION
Coyote Run Golf Course was constructed in 2004 and opened for play in June of 2005. Since its inception, the goal of the Coyote Run Golf Course staff has been to maintain the golf course in an environmentally sensitive manner. Click on the links below to find out how in the daily maintenance and operation of the golf course, we practice the following fundamental environmental principles:
- reduce, reuse and recycle
- conservation of scarce natural resources
- the use of safe and environmentally sensitive products and organic fertilizers
- conservation of water
- minimal pesticide use, Integrated Pest Management, (IPM)
- preserving and enhancing natural ecosystems
- promoting environmental awareness to our staff and to our golfing patrons
- mitigating floods through retention of rain water from the golf course and surrounding neighborhoods
- bio-solid organic fertility program
- equipment wash water recycling
HOLIDAY TREE & LIGHT RECYCLING AT IRONS OAKS
The holiday tree and light recycling program has collected 2,300 trees and has kept 4,020 pounds of lights out of landfills over the past three years. (hfchristmastreerecycling.com)
HOW TO COMPOST AT HOME
1.) Select a site for your pile or bin. To keep your neighbors happy, consider a discreet location. You’ll also want to locate a spot with good airflow, access to water and partial shade in the summer (to keep the pile from getting too hot), but good sun in the winter (to keep the pile warm).
2.) Choose a bin. You can purchase a composter, or make your own. Rotating bins make turning your treasure easy and keeps animals out, but it is easy to make a workable bin on your own. One simple method is to track down shipping pallets. Use one for the bottom. Pound in metal support poles and add pallets by slipping them over the support poles to make your bin’s walls. Make your pile about 3x3x3 feet. This size is big enough to create its own heat, but small enough to turn. If you are using a commercial composter you won’t need to worry about the size.
3.) Add materials. Not everything can go into the compost bin; read on to find out what can and cannot be composted.
Yard waste (lawn clippings, leaves)
Manure (from vegetarian animals)
Coffee grounds and filters
|Meat or animal products (bones, fish, eggs, butter, yogurt etc.)
Weeds or weed seeds
4.) Monitor temperature, aeration, moisture and the carbon to nitrogen ratio for optimum levels.
The easiest way to test your compost’s temperature is to stick your hand in the center of the pile. If it is hot or warm — good job. If it is the same temperature as the ambient air, the microbes have slowed down — and so has the composting process. You can also use a compost thermometer to take your pile’s temperature. A properly working compost pile will heat up to temperatures of 140-160°F. At these temperatures most pathogens and weed seeds are destroyed. When your pile is really “cooking,” it can reach temperatures of up to 170°F. If the temperature of your pile peaks and then starts to drop, it’s time to turn the pile.
The microbes hard at work in your compost pile require just the right amount of water. Too much means organic waste won’t decompose, too little and you’ll kill the bacteria. Compost should feel moist, but not soaking wet — like a wrung out sponge. Composting works best with 40-60% moisture content. More on monitoring compost moisture here.
Everyone needs to breathe, even tiny microorganisms, so make sure enough oxygen is getting into your pile by turning your compost often. Use a compost aerator or pitchfork to mix your pile. If you are using a compost tumbler, you’ve got it easy. Just crank that lever. If you are using easily compacted materials (such as ashes or sawdust) mix in coarser materials first. People who build large piles often add tree branches or even ventilation tubes vertically into different parts of the pile to be shaken occasionally, to maximize air circulation.
iv. Carbon to Nitrogen Ratio
For perfect compost, maintain a C:N ratio of 25 to 30 parts carbon to 1 part nitrogen, or 25-30:1. If the C:N ratio is too high (not enough nitrogen) decomposition will slow down. If the C:N ratio is too low (not enough carbon) you’ll end up with a smelly pile. Read this article on Carbon-to-Nitrogen Ratios to learn more about reaching this perfect balance between brown and green materials. In general things that are brown (dried leaves, newspaper, straw) are higher in carbon than things that are green (vegetable scraps, garden waste, grass clippings).
5.) Mix rich, earthy compost into garden soil, or pile on top of the soil as mulch.