The City of Des Plaines is committed to promoting sustainable practices and to become an even greener community. Read on to see what Des Plaines is doing for the environment year round.
Plastic Bag Drive
Clean Up - Give Back recycles plastic bags to "put plastic in its place." Accepted items include plastic grocery bags, bread bags, dry cleaning bags, newspaper sleeves, plastic shipping envelopes, cereal bags, and outside plastic casing of toilet paper, paper towels and water bottles. Drop off items in the bins at City Hall or at Clean Up - Give Back's headquarters. Visit cleanupgiveback.org for more information.
Tree City USA
The City of Des Plaines has been named a Tree City for the past 35 years, vowing to support the plants, animals, pollinators and people who live here. In addition, our community has been honored with the Growth Award from the Arbor Day Foundation in 2020 and 2021. This award is for communities that provide elevated tree care and community engagement. Find more information at Tree City USA.
LRS collects single-stream recyclable items, which means most clean and non-contaminated household items will be considered recyclable. See the LRS flyer of acceptable and unacceptable items.
Please note that LRS Carts are both blue. Trash carts are indicated with "Landfill Only" on the lid. Recycling carts have a lighter blue lid and have a sticker with recyclable materials.
Did you know you can recycle your electronics with Des Plaines Public Works? Drop off your old computers, phones, TVs or other electronics every Wednesday morning from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 1111 Joseph J. Schwab Road (Public Works Garage). Household appliances are not accepted. Must be a Des Plaines resident to participate. Visit the Public Works page for more information.
Tips for Going Green
Living sustainably can be as simple as bringing your own reusable cup and/or straw to businesses that allow it. If you buy coffee at a shop 3 times a week, that is saving 156 disposable cups a year! Now imagine if 10 people did the same. Below are a few ideas you can implement in your own life:
- Shut off lights and unplug electronic devices when not in use.
- Switch to energy efficient lightbulbs.
- Request a free home energy assessment from ComEd. Find out more.
- Only run your dishwasher when it is completely full.
- Open your blinds for light and heat, or keep them closed to stay cool depending on the season.
- Request plastic silverware or small condiment packets are not placed in with your to-go food when possible.
- Use reusable bags when shopping.
Greenest Region Compact
In October of 2021, City Council passed a resolution to join the Greenest Region Compact. This provides a framework that guides our future sustainability policy decisions to make our community more resilient and vibrant. The Greenest Region Compact contains almost 50 high level municipal goals that will help ensure that Des Plaines and the rest of our region are equipped to deal with tomorrow’s challenges. The goals include ten overarching categories:
- Economic Development
- Municipal Operations
- Sustainable Communities
- Waste and Recycling
Climate Action Plan
Additionally in October of 2021, City Council passed a resolution to align with the Climate Action Plan. More than 100 communities from the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus helped develop the Climate Action Plan for the Chicago Region, which identifies risks facing our community like increased flooding or dangerous heat waves, and provides solutions to help us adapt to and mitigate these challenges.
Limiting water use is a great everyday practice for people and businesses in our area. Visit our Water Conservation page for more information.
Want to track your water usage? Des Plaines has a water utility portal that provides virtually everything you need to detect and correct water usage issues. Through this interactive website, you can track your water usage through easy-to-read charts and graphs, receive tips on water conservation and more!
If you have a Sensus water meter, just visit desplaines.org/mywater to set up your account.
Composting and Solar Panels
To learn more about composting and installing solar panels in Des Plaines, please view the City Code here.
Cook County’s Department of Environment and Sustainability (DES) has established the Businesses Reducing Impact on the Environment (BRITE) program. This free program helps businesses reduce their environmental impact and create a healthier environment for their employees, customers and community. DES offers on-site assessments to determine if businesses are eligible to apply for grant funding.
This funding would implement saving solutions and recommendations on ways to best modernize operations.
Go to cookcountyil.gov/BRITE to learn more and apply for an assessment.