Last year I wrote an article on disposal of household hazardous waste that included a schedule of collection events for the year. Due to popular demand, here is that information for 2008. What can you do with old or unwanted pesticides? One could suggest several things but here are your best, legal options:
- Use them up. You can usually apply them to a labeled-use site regardless of whether or not pests are present. Be sure to read and follow all label directions. Sometimes pesticides are taken off the market, or certain uses are removed from the label. In those cases, existing stocks can typically still be used. Rarely does US–EPA order a stop-use on the product. For example, it is illegal to apply old stocks of chlordane or 2,4,5-T. To learn about the registration status of your product in question, you can contact the manufacturer or the Illinois Department of Agriculture, (217)785-2427.
- Give them away. Fellow neighboring gardeners may be interested in your castoffs. It’s not recommended that you sell unwanted pesticides. To sell a pesticide legally, if must still be in the original packaging with the complete label. If the pesticide is restricted use, you must be licensed in order to sell it. If the product registration has been cancelled, selling is illegal.
- Take them to a hazardous waste collection event. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) has scheduled 11 household hazardous waste (HHW) collection events to be held across Illinois this spring.
For a list of household hazardous waste materials that should be accepted at these events, please visit the Illinois Poison Center’s Web site at http://www.mchc.org/ipc/AboutIPC/News/HouseholdWasteCollection.htm. If in doubt, it may be best to first contact the Waste Reduction Unit of the IEPA at (217)785-8604.
There are special hazardous material collection events for other nonhousehold types of pesticides:
- Agricultural pesticides are collected at various scheduled “Agricultural Pesticide Clean Sweep” events. Contact the Illinois Department of Agriculture, (217)785-2427, for more information.
- Structural pesticides (those used by professional applicators to control pests in and around structures) are collected at “Structural Pesticide Clean Sweep” sites. Contact the Illinois Department of Public Health, (217)782-4674, for more information.
One-day collections are open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the scheduled Saturdays listed above.
In addition, the following long-term facilities are available for disposal of HHW. Please phone ahead to determine availability and open hours.
1971 Brookdale Road, Fire Station #4
For information: (630)420-4190
Rock River Reclamation District
For information: (815)987-5570
- City of Chicago:
Household Chemicals and Computer Recycling Facility
1150 N. North Branch on Goose Island
For information: City of Chicago
311 or for general information: (312)744-7672
- Lake County: The Solid Waste Agency of Lake County (SWALCO) currently operates a long-term household chemical waste-collection program. Information and a collection schedule can be found on the SWALCO Web site, or by calling (347)336-9340.
For questions concerning the IEPA’s one-day or long-term collections, please call the Waste Reduction Unit at (217)785-8604.