The parcel of land at the edge of Urbana where the Landscape Recycling Center is currently located was at one time Urbana’s landfill. The State of Illinois closed the landfill in 1976 due to concerns over landfills in the state being at-capacity.
Nine years later, in 1985, the City Council came up with a creative idea. The Council realized that 60 percent of the material in the landfill was in fact yard waste. That particular waste was compromised solely of organic material and was friendly to the eco-system. At the time, most Illinois landfills were comprised of an average of 25 percent organic material, with no requirement that these materials be separated. The City of Urbana being the eco-friendly municipality that it is, along with the proactive approach by the City Council, developed the model for the LRC that we know today.
The Council reasoned that recycling this yard waste would be an environmentally-friendly way to dramatically reduce the amount of material going into other active landfills in the Greater Champaign County Area and beyond. In addition, area residents could benefit from these outstanding materials for their own property while contributing to. The Council figured that fees paid for by residents purchasing these earth-friendly materials could also fund the operations of the site.
The Yard Waste Reclamation Site, now known as the Landscape Recycling Center, opened to the public in 1987. As with any new business, LRC had a few minor adjustments to work out, especially in the beginning. LRC is still evolving and growing to this very day, coming up with new ideas on how to serve people while also serving the environment.
After a clever marketing-campaign and a name-change, the LRC grew to be one of the few government-operated facilities that is completely self-sufficient, not only in Illinois, but in the entire Midwest. The LRC is solely supported by patron fees and product purchases and operates without the need for tax dollars.
Closing the loop on organic materials in Champaign County and beyond, the todays LRC processes more than a thousand tons of yard trimmings and woody debris daily on-site at our facility. We are proud to continue offering homeowners, landscapers and our community a sustainable solution for their landscaping needs.