- Editor’s Note: This article was written by Kane County Recycling Coordinator Jennifer Jarland. Got a question or idea for a recycling tip? Contact Jarland at 630-208-3841 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Does your garage or basement look like this?
Household hazardous waste is a term that describes the waste associated with the wide variety of chemical cleaners, pesticides, fertilizers, paints, auto fluids, and other toxic materials in use in homes, automobiles, and yards.
The topic of HHW affects each and every individual and community given the nearly universal use, storage, and disposal of chemical consumer products.
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act 1976 bans Hazardous Waste from landfills and applies to industrial and commercial hazardous materials, but subtitle D creates an exemption for residential waste.
Even though these hazardous materials are not banned from the landfill on a residential level, collection programs are a good idea for a variety of reasons.
People demand alternative solutions, because they know it is not good to tip it down the drain.
Why It’s Important to Properly Dispose of HHW
We don’t want it accumulating in homes, risking poisoning or fires, or endangering the waste haulers when they collect our trash at the curb. Proper disposal eliminates the potential risks associated with trashing or dumping.
That’s why local governments and the Environmental Protection Agency have created programs to collect residentially generated hazardous materials.
Kane County’s HHW Programs
In Kane County, our program has two main arms: a facility in Naperville and a home collection service in the north part of the county, as well as Geneva, Batavia, and Mill Creek.
There is also a one-day collection event set for next year — on June 5, 2021 — in partnership with the Illinois EPA, DuPage County and the city of Aurora.
All three of these programs are free to residents.
Naperville HHW facility
In Illinois, there are four free public drop-off facilities, located in Naperville, Chicago, Gurnee, and Rockford.
Naperville is our closest facility, open every weekend, and free to the public.
Click here for more information on this program, including facility hours and acceptable materials.
Home Collection Program
Home collection programs are rare throughout the country, and we are fortunate to have a fairly large portion of the population served by the Kane County HHW home collection program.
Eligible areas include the six northern townships of Hampshire, Rutland, Dundee, Burlington, Plato, and Elgin; the cities of Batavia and Geneva; and Mill Creek. Note that the city of Elgin has its own programs for these wastes.
Residents in eligible areas can schedule an appointment with the county’s contractor, US Ecology, for free collection of HHW from your homes.
Click here for more information on the home collection service available in eligible areas of Kane County.
One-Day HHW Collection Event Scheduled For 2021
- What: Free Residential HHW Collection Event
- When: Saturday, June 5, 2021
- Where: 309 N. River St., Aurora
- Partners: IEPA, Kane County, city of Aurora, DuPage County
- More Information: Check this Kane County Recycles web page for more details closer to the event.
Latex Paint – Not Accepted With HHW
Latex paint is water-based and has a very low level of toxicity. Disposing of it as hazardous waste is unnecessary and very expensive, so most facilities do not accept it.
Therefore, the Illinois EPA and Kane County encourage people with unwanted latex paint to use these disposal options.