Recycling at First United Methodist Church

Pumpkin Collection Event!

Pumpkin Collection Event!


It all started when…

It may have been the Bible Study leaders bringing their concern for the environment with them to church who started us. That was over 30 years ago. In more recent years a small group ministry start became today’s Green Disciples, leaders in environmental care around the church. Now we are known for our recycling training events at Bloomingfest in West Chicago and for collecting unusual items. See our list below and where they go. We’d love to receive any donations, because we believe in keeping these things out of the landfill.

  1. Old Shoes

    Since 2012 we have been collecting used and new shoes. (More than 30,000 pairs by fall 2019). Shoes are dropped off at our church by Boy Scouts, Schools, other churches and organizations, nursing homes, and individuals. Members of our congregation get together to match them, tie each pair together and take them to a nearby StorageMart to await pickup by an exporter.

    They are exported to street vendors in places like Kenya, Haiti and South America. People needing shoes can buy them for pennies on the dollar. The funds generated provide Well digging rigs, Water purification systems, Repair of hand pumps and Health & Hygiene training.

    Communities around the world receive the lifesaving gift of clean water.

  2. Pop Can Tabs

    for the Ronald McDonald House. Bring them inside and find jars at either entrance to receive the tabs. Ronald McDonald House has collected them for years. We now give them to the Winfield site, but our numbers are currently low due to switching locations. Help us get on the wall this year by keeping your pop can tabs for us.

  3. Plastic Bread Closures

    for SCARCE. The plastic bread closures are a different kind of plastic which recyclers do not want from the community one bin recycling. A child in another state decided to make a deal with her local recycler to collect enough tabs to make it worth while to switch machine settings for occasional runs. What does she get out of the project? Money for wheelchairs for young people.

  4. Christmas Tree lights

    We are the designated West Chicago location for SCARCE to collect old holiday lights. The bin appears in November outside the church’s west entrance. It will stay up through Jan 6.

  5. Pumpkin Composting

    One of our newest projects is to host a pumpkins collection on the first Saturday of November. This coincides with our Holiday Bazaar, a indoor lunch and craft sale held ever year by our United Methodist and Congregational Women. Pumpkins get tossed into a composting garbage trailer. Toss it yourself, or get some help from our volunteers.

  6. Styrofoam Recycling

    A project for all United Methodists is to keep foam containers and packaging out of the landfill. We have an all church policy to not use polystyrene for any of event hosted at our church. We go the extra mile by collecting small amounts from friends who need a place to drop off their Styrofoam. Please find a container in the kitchen of the church. Some of our recycling advocates will take an occasional load to Dart in Aurora where outdoor bins stand ready to receive 24/7.

  7. Orange Pill Bottles

    We’re collecting these again as of April 2019. We found a source to take orange pill bottles to Doctors Without Boarders. Please remove labels and clean them up from medicine residue. The collection box is at the East Entrance.