• Mar 28, 2024, 12:32 PM

Celebrating Earth Month in Gurnee: Learn More and Get Involved

Earth Month

As Earth Month approaches, the Village of Gurnee’s Environmental Sustainability Committee is gearing up to celebrate and promote environmental awareness and sustainability within the community. With a range of activities and resources available, residents have ample opportunities to participate in meaningful actions that contribute to the well-being of our planet.

Whether you're passionate about conservation, recycling, or simply enjoying the outdoors, there's something for everyone to engage with this Earth Month. Here's your comprehensive guide to Earth Month events, programs and resources in Gurnee:

Recycling/Sustainable Events

April 20th - Styrofoam Recycling Event: The Village of Gurnee will be hosting a Styrofoam Recycling Event on Saturday, April 20th from 10am to 1pm at the Public Works Facility located at 1151 Kilbourne Rd. Only clean, dry and #6 labeled polystyrene products will be accepted. Styrofoam does not biodegrade and can’t be recycled in standard recycling streams. Packing peanuts will not be accepted.

If you are unable to attend, you may drop off your Styrofoam at the Gurnee Public Works Facility on Friday, April 19th from 7am to 3pm. If you’re unable to make either day, the City of Highland Park’s recycling center located at 1180 Half Day Rd. offers free Styrofoam recycling to all Lake County residents every Tuesday and 1st Saturday of the month.

April 27th - Free Shred Event: In collaboration with WTHS Mother Earths Concerned Students (MECS), BCU (Baxter Credit Union) and the Village of Gurnee will be hosting a Shred Event on Saturday, April 27th from 10am to 1pm at the Warren Township High School O’Plaine Campus  at 500 N. O’Plaine Rd. The event is limited to Gurnee residents and is free of charge. Any documents from businesses or commercial institutions will not be accepted. As a sustainable event, all materials will be recycled and diverted from landfills. Get your documents together!

May 11th - Spring Compost Giveaway Event: The Village of Gurnee and the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County (SWALCO) will be giving away compost from 10am to 3pm at the Gurnee Public Works Facility located at 1151 Kilbourne Rd. Free to Gurnee Residents (noncommercial use) on a first come, first serve basis while supplies lasts. It will be self-serve and bring your own bucket. Please note that businesses/institutions are prohibited.

Master Garden Learning Series: The University of Extension Master Gardeners and Lake County Forest Preserves are offering wonderful programs for gardeners and those wanting to learn to garden.  This year, the program is offered every month through December on a variety of garden related topics.  There is no cost to attend.

Presentations are scheduled the second Wednesday of each month from 6pm to 7:30pm. All sessions are free, virtual on Zoom, and are NOT recorded. Registration closes the Tuesday before each session at 11:59pm. Zoom link, slides and handouts will be emailed to registrants by 2pm the day of the presentation (Check ALL of your email folders including SPAM).  A variety of resources will be shared after the presentations. Click here to get registered

Get Involved in Programs

Adopt-A-Trail Program: The Village of Gurnee Adopt-A-Trail program gives individuals and groups an opportunity to support anti-litter efforts by adopting a section of Village pedestrian trails for the purpose of litter collection.

Adopt-A-Roadway Program: The Village of Gurnee Adopt-A-Roadway program gives individuals and groups an opportunity to support anti-litter efforts by adopting a section of Village roadway for the purpose of trash collection. Sections of adopted roadway are between ½ to 2 miles in length. Groups perform litter collection a minimum of two times a year, for the duration of the two-year adoption period.

Adopt-A-Highway Program: A public service program for environmentally-conscious citizen's groups to make a personal contribution to a cleaner environment by volunteering to pick up litter along Lake County's highway system.

For businesses and organizations, the Environmental Sustainability Committee has created the Green Gurnee Awards to spotlight businesses and organizations committed to creating a more sustainable Gurnee. The distinguished Green Gurnee award will encourage other business owners and organizations to evaluate and modify their own business practices while notifying the public of their goal to reduce their carbon footprint.

Resources and Guides

Gurnee Recycling Guidelines: Know what to recycle such as paper, steel/aluminum containers and foil, plastic, glass bottles and jars, and food and beverage cartons. Keep food and liquids out and no loose plastic bags/wraps or bagged recyclables.

Gurnee Recycling and Safe Disposal Guide: For specialty items, this guide includes information on how to sustainably and safely dispose of items such as: clothing and textiles, electronics, sharps, and more.

Can’t find what you want to recycle or dispose of? Visit for a listing of all available resources.

Earth Month Tips from the ESC

Invest a few minutes to help divert waste from landfills...

If you have one minute:

Grab your mobile device and input the dates of local recycling events on your calendar. You'll find dates on the Village's website and social media pages, and in the Keeping Posted newsletter delivered monthly via mail. 

79% of recyclables end up in landfills.* Vow to do better! 

If you have five minutes: 
Open up your closets and grab any shoes you no longer wear. Toss them in your car so you can drop them off in the collection bin at Village Hall the next time you're driving by. Keep pairs together by tying, banding, or bagging. 

Recycling shoes conserves resources and reduces landfill waste. 

If you have 15 minutes: 

Select a location in your home (utility room, garage) where you can collect styrofoam to drop off at the next styrofoam recycling event, which occurs twice per year. Just be sure any styrofoam take-out containers are washed and free of food particles. 

Styrofoam does not biodegrade and can’t be recycled in standard recycling streams.

Every action counts towards sustaining our planet for the next generation. More on the environment and the Village’s sustainability efforts can be found In Mayor Hood's fourth "From the Mayor's Desk Message", he addressed the environment. The full video can be viewed on the Village of Gurnee's Facebook at