Reuse (Donate, Buy Used, Repair, Maintain)

No one would consider buying a new car because the one they are driving needs an oil change, new brakes or a tire rotation. In fact, all of us reuse items by taking proper care of them but increasingly, we are replacing items instead of repairing or maintaining them. The items we replace become unwanted and we either send them to the landfill, recycle them, or, if the option exists, donate them.


Donating items is better than recycling them because minimal amounts of energy are used in refurbishing them. Consider toys and books children outgrow, clothing, shoes, blankets, and utensil sets with a few pieces missing; all these items are easily given to relatives, friends or donated. As recent graduates and young newlyweds with little money to spare, we may have shopped thrift stores for picture frames, glassware, furniture and much more. Perhaps as older adults, we offer garage sales to clean out unwanted but perfectly usable items. This is a great way to reuse items.  Many of us enjoy bargain shopping, finding treasures in a neighbor's yard sale or at the local thrift shop.

In fact, reuse has become a viable part of the economy as new stores and national chains have established themselves firmly in the "gently used" retail market. Consider stores such as:

Ashley's Pick-a-Part
Better the Second Time Around
Clothes Mentor
Cutting Corners and More
Disc Replay
My Little Store
Once Upon a Child
Plato's Closet
Roman's Rolling Repairs
Savers Thrift Store
St. Vincent DePaul



Anytime an item is repaired, rather than replaced, it can save resources.  Over time the County has highlighted businesses in the emailed newsletter that assist residents in preserving and maintaining items so they can be reused. Consider cutlery, having knives and scissors sharpened can make them last longer and save money over the cost replacement. Having a purse or shoes repaired, especially an expensive item, saves money, prevents waste and conserves resources.

Often, people do not consider the resources that are used to make an item.  Leather must be treated and shipped hundreds of miles, if not thousands, depending on where it came from and where it is being sold. Water, chemicals, energy are all resources used to make products. Imagine how much pollution is prevented when we repair an item instead of replacing it. Some local examples of repair options:

Shoe/Leather/Handbag Repair

  • Andy's Shoe Repair
  • Dick's Shoe Repair
  • Fox Valley Shoe Repair
  • J's Shoe Repair
  • Moody Shoe Repair & Alteration
  • Myra Shoe Repair & Alterations
  • Naperville Cobbler Shoe Repair
  • Orland Park Shoe Repair Inc 

Appliance Repair

  • A-Dave's Appliance Repair
  • Appliance Rescue Service
  • A2Z Appliance Repair
  • Gordon's Appliance Service
  • Mag Appliance 
  • Southside Repair Service
  • Triangle Appliance Service


  • Rich's Sharpening Service (lawn mower blades, pruners, axes, and more)
  • Sharper Edge (only sharpens scissors)
  • Grindstone Sharpening Service (only sharpens scissors)

Lawn Mower and Outdoor Equipment Repair

  • Roman's Rolling Repairs


ReUse as a Craft

Expired Credit Cards and Gift Cards:

  • If possible, reload the gift card to reuse it as intended
  • Cut the cards to make shapes to use in scrap booking, card making, ornaments, etc.
  • Affix them to the back of photos or other display items to help the item stand on a shelf
  • Use the cards with interesting shapes as stencils, keep them in them with craft supplies
  • Some people use them as jewelry, making belt buckles, earrings and more
  • Use the plastic card in your house maintenance (link to This Old House website)

If you are inspired to make a short term craft (possibly an activity with children), please consider using items that can NOT currently be recycled or are not easily recycled (taken in the curbside program) because once an item has been glued or had other materials affixed to it, it is no longer acceptable in recycling collection programs.


Upcoming Green Events

Spring 2020 Recyclepalooza: canceled due to COVID-19
Event's details
April 18, 2020-April 18, 2020

Time:08:00 AM - 03:00 PM
Location: , Joliet, IL-IL

Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the April Recyclepalooza has been CANCELED. We have alternative locations for many of the items and do expect to hold a Recyclepalooza in September. The ability to make appointments for the September event will not be available until June. We deeply regret this inconvenience but the safety of participants, volunteers and personnel is of primary concern.
 (April 18, 2020 08:00 AM - April 18, 2020 03:00 PM)
Braidwood Hazardous Waste, Motor Oil & Electronics Collection Event
Event's details
May 02, 2020-May 02, 2020

Time:08:00 AM - 03:00 PM
Location: , Bolingbrook, IL-IL

Collection of nearly all types of electronics and household chemicals, hazardous materials and liquids. All participants are asked to make an appointment. Appointments will not be taken after NOON on Friday, prior to the event. There is a limit of 2 TVs per vehicle and ID required. We offer service to all Will County residents and ALL residents of any communities partially within Will County.
 (May 02, 2020 08:00 AM - May 02, 2020 03:00 PM)
Will County Land Use Department
Will County - Land Use Department - Resource Recovery & Energy
58 E. Clinton Street, Joliet, IL 60432

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