Illinois residents will now have the opportunity to drop-off their household hazardous waste for free at a new collection site that is scheduled to open on Saturday.
The new collection facility is located at 249 N. Old St. Louis Rd. in Wood River and aims to service up to 400 households at each collection event held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the first Saturday and third Friday of each month.
In partnerships with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) and Heritage Environmental, Madison County will increase the number of opportunities residents will have to dispose of their household hazardous waste from twice a year to up to 24 times per year.
“This opportunity is unique to Madison County and is the only collection facility within a 5-hour drive in Illinois,” Madison County Chairman Kurt Prenzler said.
Building and Zoning Administrator Chris Doucleff said the problem for most residents is that household hazardous waste can manifest itself in many different everyday items and unfortunately, many of the items are difficult to dispose of in a manner that’s safe for the environment.
“As a result, these chemicals and toxic materials end up going into our waste streams and eventually can contaminate the groundwater, natural habitats and waterways,” Doucleff said.
Resource Management Coordinator Brandon Banks said the county receives daily calls from residents asking for ways to dispose of their chemicals and hazardous waste.
“In the past, we were only able to provide limited resources for them,” Banks said. “Having a permanent site creates more opportunities for people to do the right thing when disposing of household hazardous waste.”
Banks said the county wanted to make it easier and safe for the environment with opening the new, permanent site.
“We are excited about it,” he said. “For years the household hazardous waste collections have been one of Madison County’s most sought after and popular events.”
Doucleff said disposal of items would be 100 percent free of charge and open to all Illinois residents.
“You do not have to be a Madison County resident to drop off household hazardous waste,” Doucleff said. “However, appointments are required by scheduling one online or by calling.”
To make an appointment online visit https://RecycleResponsibly.as.me/hhwaste, or call 618)296-5237.
Accepted HHW items include oil-based paints, pesticides and herbicides, lawn fertilizers and chemicals, cleaning solvents, paint thinners, hobby chemicals, antifreeze & motor oil, pool chemicals, household batteries, medicines, lead-acid batteries and fluorescent lights.
Non-acceptable items include latex paint, tires, electronics, ammunition, agricultural wastes, explosives, fireworks, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, farm machinery oil, business, commercial or biohazard waste.
Visit www.madisoncountybz.com for more information on HHW or how to dispose of other items such as electronics.
Doucleff said the funding for the new site comes from the “tipping fees,” which are fees charges to waste haulers for disposal of items in the county’s two landfills.
“It’s a win-win for taxpayers,” Prenzler said. “Residents pay nothing out of pocket and receive this new service.”