Champaign County holds hazardous waste pickup


Mark Capapas

Trash and recycling bins sit outside the union on Sunday. Champaign County will be hosting a hazardous waste pickup on Oct. 26.

By The Daily Illini Staff Report

Champaign County residents, along with others across the state, will have the opportunity to give away any hazardous waste to be properly disposed of Oct. 26.

Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates, Champaign County has the potential to generate 1.6 million pounds of hazardous waste from household chemicals each year.

Items eligible for disposal include motor oil, pesticides, lead batteries, gasoline, kerosene and old or expired medication. Ineligible items include propane tanks, business waste, fire extinguishers and explosives.

“Hazardous waste that is landfilled has the potential to leach toxins from the landfill into ground, surface or drinking water and potentially release harmful air emissions into the atmosphere,” said Courtney Kwong, recycling coordinator for the U-Cycle Program in Urbana. “Some toxic materials, such as mercury and lead, can persist in the environment for many years and are particularly harmful.”

There are currently no permanent sites for Champaign County residents to dispose of hazardous wastes, except for one-day collection events sponsored by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. The last waste collection happened in 2012; 2,200 households participated. 

Residents can register for the event at the provided link and can select a 15-minute time slot between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Oct. 26. 

Kwong said there are currently about 1,100 households signed up statewide, but encourages others to keep signing up, as there are plenty of openings still available.

“This event raises awareness in the community about the potential harmful impacts household hazardous waste can pose to the environment and to human health, animals and plant life,” Kwong said.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article misidentified a source. 

A previous version of this article stated that only Champaign County was involved in the hazardous waste pickup.

A previous version of this article stated that 1,100 households were signed up in Urbana only. The Daily Illini regrets these errors. 

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