Environment and Sustainability | WGLT

Environment and Sustainability

Packet of recycled materials
Eric Stock / WGLT

McLean County may try again to join a cost-sharing agreement for drop-off recycling with Bloomington and Normal.


A student organization is tackling two of the world’s biggest threats: hunger and climate change.

State Farm HQ building
Staff / WGLT

State Farm said Tuesday it will cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030, with plans to lean more on renewable energy, cut down on paper and fleet vehicles, and incentivize good behavior among its customers.

Michael Retter

When there is a large concentration of birds, disease tends to spread. This winter was an exceptional winter for finches coming down to central Illinois from Canada, and that caused more birds to be at feeders than normal.

American Birding Association magazine editor Michael Retter said the disease most prevalent in McLean County is salmonella.

Flickr user Elliott Brown / Creative Commons

Ameren Illinois and environmental groups are fighting over what is fair pay for solar power generators.

front of old Bloomington Fire Station that is now a restaurant
Epiphany Farms / Facebook

Epiphany Farms Restaurant Group in Bloomington laid off more than 80 people Friday. Three of its four restaurants are effectively closed.

Composting just got a whole lot easier in Bloomington-Normal.

The Ecology Action Center’s new community compost kiosk is more inclusive than your average backyard-composting setup. 

Chevy Volt
Staff / WGLT

Ameren Illinois says it plans to help build out a network of public electric vehicle charging stations, including some in Rivian’s backyard here in central Illinois.

Breanna Grow / WGLT

Last spring students at Illinois State University led a crowd of least 250 in a march through Uptown Normal to demand governments take action to fight climate change.   

Jason Barickman speaks
Staff / WGLT

Some political observers think the announcement last week by Exelon that it will close two northern Illinois nuclear reactors is an opening bid for legislative help.

Green Top Grocery beer cooler
Eric Stock / WGLT

Owners of the Green Top Grocery Co-op have elected a new board after social media upheaval contributed to the resignation of the entire board last month.

Man drving forklift at recycling plant
Eric Stock / WGLT

McLean County residents are wasting less, and that includes a drop in recycling too.

volunteers working household hazardous waste collection
Ecology Action Center / Facebook

Those every-other-year household hazardous waste collections in McLean County could become a thing of the past if the Ecology Action Center gets its way. 

Wind turbines
David Mercer / AP

Green energy advocates are pushing Illinois lawmakers to back a plan to wean the state off fossil fuels by 2050.

First Student bus
Ryan Denham / WGLT

The Unit 5 school board is sticking with its sometimes-frustrating bus service for one more year. The board Wednesday approved retaining First Student in a short contract.

Volunteers pose for photos
Ryan Denham / WGLT

When you think of what can be recycled, aluminum cans and newspapers probably come to mind first. But don’t forget about granola bar wrappers, plastic cups, and chip bags.

corn plans sprouting in a field
David Mercer / AP

An environmental sciences instructor at Illinois Wesleyan University is concerned that the Trump administration's rollback of regulations could be making our drinking water less safe.

Man wearing red and black plaid shirt at a podium with a microphone
Colleen Reynolds / WGLT

A Woodford County farmer who is the subject of a documentary called “Seasons of Change on Henry’s Farm” says biodiversity and adaptability have been the key to surviving the worst weather year in his 26 years of farming.

volunteers working household hazardous waste collection
Ecology Action Center / Facebook

The Ecology Action Center saw a drop in collections during this year's household hazardous waste event, but organizers believe a change in the format was successful.

Trump speaks to reporters
Andrew Harnik / AP

Climate change has been a hot-button issue for years, made even hotter by President Trump’s move to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement and roll back Obama-era policies concerning greenhouse gas emissions and coal.

Field where first BNWRD plant was built

The Bloomington and Normal Water Reclamation District will have to spend $160 million-plus over the next couple decades. Businesses, homeowners and apartment owners in the Twin Cities will have to pay for it.

Randy Stein / BNWRD

About 100 years ago, Sugar Creek running through Bloomington-Normal was "pretty disgusting," according to Randy Stein, the director of the Bloomington and Normal Water Reclamation District.

Inside Illinois Capitol building
Seth Perlman / AP

A Bloomington architect is taking her passion for historic architecture to one of the state's most iconic structures: the Illinois Capitol building.

Plant expert in the wild points out grasses,
Illinois State University

As climate change and human industry destroy once thriving habitats, scientists are using samples from herbariums to piece together the history of our ecosystem.

Industrial hemp growers are still working through some kinks to comply with state rules and have a successful growing season.

Aozora Brockman hauling produce
Alex Sing

A documentary that depicts a Woodford County vegetable farmer's struggle with climate change is scheduled to play in a sneak preview at the Normal Theater on Wednesday night.

Lake Bloomington
Staff / WGLT

Bloomington is looking up update its watershed plans for Lake Bloomington and Evergreen Lake to ensure the city's drinking water remains safe.

Rivian Amazon van
Business Wire

The retail giant Amazon announced Thursday it plans to buy 100,000 electric delivery vehicles from Rivian as part of a larger effort to reduce its carbon footprint.

Panelists at climate event in Normal
Breanna Grow / WGLT

Real-feel estimates topped out at a sweltering 120 degrees Thursday; the day before, at 114 degrees. If you struggle to remember many days like that when you were a kid, your memory isn’t failing you, speakers at a climate change panel Thursday warned; it is getting hot in here.

Rivian plant from the sky

Rivian has attracted another large investment, this time $350 million from Cox Automotive.