Local county and municipal governments and area health agencies regularly receive inquiries from residents about how to dispose of household hazardous waste (HHW). Historically, HHW collection options available to east central Illinois residents have been inadequate.
In December, the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission received grant support from the Lumpkin Family Foundation and Illinois Sustainable Technology Center to begin the first phase of a 3-phase project which seeks to improve HHW collection options in a 7-county area of east central Illinois (Champaign, Vermilion, Douglas, Edgar, Coles, Cumberland, and Clark Counties).
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) subsidizes the operation of four HHW collection facilities, all situated in northern Illinois. After a three-year hiatus due to lack of state funding, during 2012, IEPA resumed a limited schedule of downstate HHW one-day collections. Local government jurisdictions or agencies requesting a HHW one-day collection are placed on a prioritized waiting list, with the amount of local funds provided for the one-day collection as one IEPA selection criterion. Local funds to IEPA for a one-day collection are provided from landfill ‘tipping fees’ in those counties with a landfill, and funding options for the majority of downstate counties with no landfill is extremely limited.
Phase I of the project will start in January 2013 and is expected to take 6 months to complete. Phase I includes data collection, and developing an inventory of potential alternatives for convenient HHW collection options. Phases 2 and 3 of the project will focus on selected HHW options for implementation and will include further outreach and collaboration. One hope for the outcome of the project is that it can be used as a model in other Illinois counties.
For more information, contact Susan Monte at firstname.lastname@example.org.