COVID-19 RECYCLING, WASTE PICKUP: Curbside Continues; Bulk Item Collection Suspended; Other Actions You Can Take at Home

COVID-19 RECYCLING, WASTE PICKUP: Curbside Continues; Bulk Item Collection Suspended; Other Actions You Can Take at Home


Here’s The Latest on COVID-19 Recycling, Waste Pick-Up

EDITOR’S NOTE (CORRECTION): This is a fluid situation. Please bookmark and check THIS PAGE on the Kane County Recycles website for updates.

These decisions have been made to proactively help curb the spread of COVID-19. Along with the rest of the nation and the world, we are following this rapidly evolving situation and making programmatic decisions based on maintaining the health and safety of our staff, volunteers, and community members. 

Kane County Curbside Waste and Recycling Service

All curbside collection programs for waste and recycling remain operational at this time. Please continue to separate and recycle as usual. You do not need to change how you are doing anything.


1. NOW: Waste haulers may be limiting extra services like collecting bulk items or excess trash or recycling that is outside of the cart. For example, they may not collect bulk materials or flattened cardboard boxes that are left outside of the cart. For specifics on your program, please check with your city or hauler directly.

2. NEXT: There may be further changes to your curbside services as things change over the coming days. For example, there may be a delay in the startup of the seasonal yard waste collection service. Further, it may become necessary for waste hauling companies to take measures to collect materials on reduced schedules. Haulers have proposed a potential need to combine yard waste with trash, because of a shortage of drivers, but in order to do that they must first be granted official exemption from the state law requiring yard waste to be collected separately and composted.

3. LAST RESORT: According to haulers it is unlikely but possible that they would need to collect trash and recycling together on the same day in the same truck. However, this would not apply in counties where there is an ordinance requiring the separation of materials. Also, municipal hauler contracts usually require separation of recyclables, which means that cities and their haulers would need to negotiate and amend contract terms in order for such extreme measures to be made.


Maintain your green standards: If services are eventually reduced and/or if you would like to make extra efforts to maintain your green-standards, consider the following measures:

  • Yard waste and food scraps: The following suggestions are general best practices, regardless of whether curbside service is running as normal or experiencing disruptions due to the virus.
    • Back yard composting: Now is the time to start composting your yard waste and food scraps in a corner of the backyard if you have the space. There are many great guides available online about how to get started. Check out the Illinois Food Scrap Coalition (IFSC) resources on backyard composting.
    • Green-scaping and lawn mulching: Mulch leaves into the garden beds and leave grass clippings on the lawn. Google either of these terms to find a wealth of guidance online.
    • Drop-off options: Check with your county recycling program manager to find an IEPA permitted drop-off location that can take your organics (food scraps/landscape waste) for composting. See the IFSC map of compost facilities. Call ahead to confirm that they are open to the public for landscape waste drop-off.
    • Do not burn your landscape waste: Or any other waste please, despite any ill-informed advice to do so. See the EPA information on the hazards of burning waste. We do not want to fill the air with smoke at a time when people are struggling with respiratory-related illnesses. Instead, please mulch these organic materials properly, so that they will break down through a natural emission-free process.
  • Recycling: If there are extreme disruptions to recycling service, you can stockpile your clean recyclables in a corner of the garage or basement until this is over. If you chose to do this, keep in mind that you will need to feed the volume in over time when service returns, so as not to overwhelm the system.
  • Waste reduction and rethinking: Return to the thrifty measures taken by our elders in times of national or global emergencies and rethink your consumer habits. Up your game with innovative ways to minimize your discards. Reuse everything you can. Reduce your consumption by considering your purchases, including the packaging they come in. Shop for food-items that are less perishable and invest in appliances that are durable and repairable. Do your part in helping maintain the viability of our resource recovery system.

Other Recycling Updates

Electronics And Textile Drop-Offs

Electronics and Textile Drop-off locations are now closed (as of Friday, March 20) and will reopen when the shelter-in-place order has been lifted.

Household Hazardous Waste

Recycling Events

All Recycling Events in April have been cancelled, as follows:

  • Saturday, April 11 – Recycling Event for electronics, clothes, & books
  • Saturday, April 25 – Shredding Event


All presentations in April have been cancelled, as follows:

  • ​Wednesday, April 1 – Presentation at Village Green in East Dundee
  • Thursday, April 7 – Presentation at LeRoy Oaks for the Kane County Forest Preserve
  • Saturday, April 23 – Presentation at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove

Pharmaceuticals & Medication Drop-offs

  • Kane County Coroner’s Office is closed to the public for drop off of pharmaceutical medications. See here​ for the memo.
  • You should assume that all Pharmaceutical/Medication drop-offs will be closed to the public, if not now, soon. You can call them to check. See above link for a list of drop-offs.

We are monitoring the situation and posting updates here regarding any further cancellations and also will post all eventual resumptions of programs.

National Considerations

In looking toward a potential future of even more restricted services, the National Waste and Recycling Association is working to create regulatory flexibility so that they can continue to offer necessary waste removal services. You can read more about that here.

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