Batavia to offer pickup of household hazardous waste

Batavia residents will soon be able to get rid of household hazardous materials in a curbside pickup.

The city is joining a program organized by Kane County. Aldermen gave a preliminary OK last week to signing a contract.

Batavia residents can now dispose of hazardous household chemicals and other items at Naperville's Household Hazardous Waste Facility.

The facility is funded by Naperville; Aurora; DuPage, Kane and Will counties; and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

Otherwise, their paints, lawn chemicals, household cleaners - "things that many of us may use half of, then put on a shelf in the garage and not use for six, eight years," is how streets superintendent Scott Haines described them - end up in the regular trash. Haines oversees Batavia's garbage, brush and leaf collections.

Kane County has contracted with US Ecology for household pickups. Six townships, Geneva and the Mill Creek subdivision are in the program.

The city would pay the county $35,000 a year; the county would keep $3,500 of that as a service fee. Pickups cost $100 per stop for recyclable waste and $125 for mixed waste.

Haines said most pickups would probably be for mixed hazardous waste. People could put out up to 70 pounds of waste, once a year. There would be a $5 charge for overweight bags.

The program would serve residents, not businesses. And it would be on a first-come, first-served basis, until the money for each year runs out. There would be a limit of 24 pickups per month, city administrator Laura Newman said.

Alderman Susan Stark said the limit bothered her.

"I guess I don't mind driving to Naperville," Stark said. "I am all for recycling ... but it is a big cost for such a small amount of people."

Aldermen Alan Wolff and Marty Callahan said they wanted information on other options, such as having a one-day recycling collection. "This is a Band-Aid on an amputation," Callahan said, as far as keeping toxic waste out of garbage trucks, transfer stations and landfills.

The city already collects a fee from its garbage hauler, equivalent to $3 a month per customer, for hazardous waste disposal. It anticipates raising that fee to $4 in the new garbage contract, which will start July 1.

The city will review the program after six months to see how many people used it.

The program will not collect motor oil, because that can be recycled at several service stations in Batavia. It also won't collect household batteries because there is a drop-off for those at the Batavia Government Center.

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