Beyond Waste Evanston

Beyond Waste Evanston’s main goal is to help residents, businesses, and institutions understand and implement the 5 R’s hierarchy:

  • REFUSE what you don’t need
  • REDUCE what you do need
  • REUSE what you have – fix, buy second-hand, and swap.
  • RECYCLE what you can’t
  • ROT (COMPOST) inedible food scraps

To the above list we would add REPURPOSE what you have through creativity and DIY skills. Ultimately, our goal is that those living and working in Evanston adopt and integrate practices that reduce our common carbon footprint. We strive to do this through enjoyable and engaging events and practices that benefit the whole community in an equitable way.

How do we do this?

  • Hosting regular meetings. Our subcommittee  is formed by individuals interested or working on  environmental education, recycling, composting, deconstruction and waste prevention initiatives that align with the city’s Climate Action plan
  • Organizing the Evanston Repair Clinic
  • Leading workshops, talks and CGE “Green Drinks” Events
  • Attending EEB , D65 Green Teams, SWANCC , Go Green Illinois meetings, among others, to share ideas and work synergies that benefit us all.
  • Communicating regularly with SWANCC
  • Supporting initiatives that have waste prevention and reduction in mind: Sustainevanston, SLURP, Shedd the straw, ESN

At Repair Clinics, volunteers with relevant skills and attendees co-repair appliances, bikes, textiles and jewelry, celebrating ingenuity and diverting waste from landfills.

To learn  more about waste in Evanston:

To reduce the amount of waste you generate, check out these practical tips:

  • Understand that the 2nd, 3rd and 5th Rs are in order of desirability: First reduce the amount of waste you generate, then reuse what you can have so you have less to recycle.
  • Change some of your habits to less waste-generating options. For example:
    • Dine in rather than take-out
    • Bring a reusable mug to your favorite coffee shop
    • Favor items with less packaging
    • Buy second-hand or borrow from friends
    • Repair vs. discard
    • Gift experiences instead of things
  • Learn how to cook, freeze, and store food so you generate less food waste.
  • Compost what food scraps remain
  • Check out SWANCCC for special materials on disposal/recycling and many other useful resources
  • Embrace your company’s waste reduction program. If it doesn’t have one, advocate for it. We at Beyond Waste Evanston can lend support.
  • Ask the businesses you support if they recycle and compost. If not, request that they do so. In Evanston, the first recycling bin is free, and pickups for recycling  are cheaper than those for trash.
  • Request that restaurants use durable  multi-use dinnerware, and ask that their single-use items be recyclable or compostable.
  • Ask your children how they tackle waste in school and learn from them. If their school is not environmentally active, start a green team or contact for information and support.