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Lake Forest Garden Club Helps City Get Recycling Right


January 28, 2021

Recycling awareness and education campaign

One of the side effects of the recent pandemic is that everyone is spending a lot more time at home. Delivery boxes add up and recycling has increased. Unfortunately, many might not be recycling correctly. Recycling bins containing non-recyclable or contaminated items are often diverted to regular trash processing—and into landfills. Lake Forest Garden Club (LFGC) decided to make sure that recyclable items were actually being recycled properly within their community. In November, 2019, the club awarded a $110,000 grant to the City of Lake Forest to fund the expansion of the city’s recycling awareness and education campaign, which includes a friendly Instagram character named Bart the Cart to help get out the message.

Lake Forest’s Bart the Cart is an animated recycling bin that imparts community guidelines for what can be put into recycling bins and how to prepare the items. Items need to be empty and lightly rinsed to avoid contamination, which is the number one reason for rising recycling processing costs. Styrofoam, plastic grocery bags and “tanglers” such as six-pack plastic holders, are also to be kept out of the bins. These practices, among others, have been readily accepted by the community and have resulted in a win-win: cost savings for the city, and a more sustainable and cleaner environment for all.

The Lake Forest Garden Club is a long-time partner and collaborator with the City of Lake Forest and a leader in advocating for environmental conservation, beautification, and educational efforts that benefit residents, visitors, and businesses in Lake Forest and beyond. 

“For more than a century, our members have been on the forefront of conservation education and advocacy—locally and nationally,” said a former LFGC president. “We are proud to work in partnership with local organizations to help Lake Forest become an even more conservation-minded, sustainable community. This donation reflects our members’ passion and desire to influence positive changes that create a more sustainable planet.”

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