MACON CO., Ill. (WAND) - Knowing what can and can’t be recycled is sometimes confusing. But staying informed on how your county recycles can help keep items out of the landfill. 

In Macon County, plastic, cardboard, and aluminum cans can be put in curbside recycling and drop off locations. 

Items don’t have to be sorted. 

But they need to be washed and cleaned before being collected. Items with food scraps, liquid, or grease on them are not recyclable. 

Not every recyclable material is able to be collected via curbside or drop-off. 

Grocery store plastic bags, Styrofoam, and florescent bulbs need to be taken to specific locations to be recycled. 

Those addresses are on the Macon County Environmental Management website. 

The biggest tip? Ditch the plastic trash bags when recycling. Plastic bags can create issues for sorters at the recycling facility. 

"Once it gets to the recycling facility, they do the separating. They can't go through and open all the bags. So, they just dump it and separate it as they go,” said Environmental Management Administrator Amy McKinney. 

So even if you properly clean your recyclable items, if they’re in a plastic bag they’re automatically taken to the landfill. 

Electronics are also one of those items that are recyclable but can’t be picked up curbside. 

The county hosts electronic recycling drop-offs from April to September every year.  

If you're starting to pullout those holiday decorations out of storage this week and find light strands that you're ready to dispose ofthe office has a solution. 

The Christmas Light Collection project begins December 5th. 

You can take your lights, whether they work or not, to their collection bin to be recycled. 

"We will have a bin set up at our recycling center at 1750 North 21st Street. Nobody has to be there to drop off. You simply bring the Christmas lights out, put them in the bin, and at the end of the collection, we take care of the recycling of those,” said Environmental Management Director Tracy Sumpter. 

The collection will run through January. More information on the collection and tips for recycling are available at macongreen.com 

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