'Just hold onto them for the time being': Household hazard waste collections suspended
Anyone with cleaning supplies, herbicides or other unwanted household materials may have to wait awhile to get rid of them.
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has put household hazardous waste collections and permanent drop-offs it supports on indefinite hold due to an issue at its disposal facility in Ohio.
But that doesn't necessarily mean all drop-off service is curtailed. As providers scramble to determine what happens next, it's best to check before loading up the trunk with materials to discard.
Naperville, for example, has the state agency's permission to continue its Saturday and Sunday household hazardous waste drop-offs. But the list of accepted items has been revised.
Automotive fluids, oil-based paints and stains, and solvents and strippers are among the items that still will be accepted. But pesticides, fertilizers and household cleaner are among those that will not, said Linda L. LaCloche, the city's director of communications.
Visit naperville.il.us/hhw for details.
The IEPA on Monday announced that one-day collections planned for the fall and long-term household hazardous waste disposal facilities in Chicago, Naperville, Gurnee, Rockford and Madison County have been suspended until the issue is resolved.
The agency has a contract with Heritage Environmental, which disposes much of the collected household hazardous waste at an incinerator in Ohio. A fire in July required that facility to halt operations until specially made parts can be shipped from Germany.
That may not be until mid-November, according to the IEPA, as a nationwide incinerator backlog continues.
Aside from the pandemic, this is the first time the agency has encountered this issue in more than 20 years, spokeswoman Kim Biggs said.
Residents are advised to keep the materials safely stored in their original containers, which are designed to safely hold the items.
"Just hold onto them for the time being," Biggs said.
The directive has created some confusion. The Solid Waste Agency of Lake County, for example, hosts two drop-offs per month at its facility in Gurnee.
Registration is required for those events. Saturday's event is completely booked, with 220 people signed up.
Executive Director Walter Willis said he is checking with the IEPA on how to proceed. Meanwhile, September's calendar is closed for registration, and a scheduled one-day event in Mundelein in September is on hold.
"Moving forward, I think it's fair to say we're assessing our options now that I know there is an option," he said.
Biggs said the IEPA will reschedule one-day household hazard waste collections in Tinley Park, East Moline, Bloomington, Quincy and Springfield when alternative arrangements are made.
Visit the IEPA page at illinois.gov for more information.