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20,000 books change hands during three-day Will County Land Use event

Wyn Hyzer, Environmental Educator for the Will County Resource Recovery and Energy Division, adds books to the tables at Pilcher Park Nature Center on Sunday, June 10. About 20,000 donated books changed hands during the annual free event.  (Photo courtesy of Will County Executive Larry Walsh’s office)

Wyn Hyzer, Environmental Educator for the Will County Resource Recovery and Energy Division, adds books to the tables at Pilcher Park Nature Center on Sunday, June 10. About 20,000 donated books changed hands during the annual free event. (Photo courtesy of Will County Executive Larry Walsh’s office)

JOLIET — From The Hunger Games, to steamy romances, children’s books and religious tomes, participants found books that were theirs just for the taking during Will County’s annual book recycling event.

The Will County Resource Recovery and Energy Division, in conjunction with the Joliet Park District, held its annual three-day book recycling and document destruction event June 8-10 at the Park District’s Pilcher Park Nature Center, 2501 Highland Park Drive.

In all, about 20,000 books – contributed by schools, libraries, and individuals – changed hands during the weekend’s free event.

Wyn Hyzer, the County’s Environmental Educator, said she was surprised to see a copy of the wildly popular The Hunger Games in a box of donated books.

Generally, Hyzer said, she wouldn’t expect to see such a sought-after title so soon. She didn’t even bother adding it to the rows of books lining the long Nature Center tables. “I held it up and said, I have The Hunger Games here.” And it was gone.

Tim Anderson, Senior Waste Analyst with the Resource Recovery and Energy Division, said, “About 4,500 leftover books were recycled this year, mostly old worn books, magazines, encyclopedias and educational books.

“In addition, four tons of documents were collected for shredding.”

It was the fourth consecutive year the event included an opportunity to destroy confidential documents. Secure containers were on site to collect papers that would be shredded and recycled at Document Destruction Co. in Chicago.

The Resource Recovery and Energy Division is part of the Will County Land Use Department, which is under the County Executive Larry Walsh’s office and led by Curt Paddock. For more information, go to www.willcountygreen.com.

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