DuPage renews support for hazardous waste center in Naperville

 
 

DuPage County will continue to help finance the household hazardous waste collection facility in Naperville, but officials acknowledge steps are needed to encourage more residents to use it.

County board members on Tuesday approved an agreement to provide up to $100,000 for the continued operation of the facility at 156 Fort Hill Drive that accepts items such as antifreeze, asbestos, batteries, household cleaners, oil-based paints and mercury. It is one of only four facilities in Illinois that accept household hazardous waste.

Two board members -- Don Puchalski of Addison and Sam Tornatore of Roselle -- voted against the resolution. The two Republicans represent a district that includes the northeastern part of the county.

Several board members had raised questions about how a facility in Naperville benefits residents in other parts of the county.

They pointed to data showing many of the residents who used the facility last year were from Naperville.

Officials said more than 6,600 cars from the DuPage side of Naperville used the facility in 2018 compared to 213 from Carol Stream, 52 from Roselle and 47 from Addison.

Board member Jim Zay said it's inconvenient for residents who live in northern DuPage to make the trip to the facility that is open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, excluding holidays.

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The Carol Stream Republican said the county should host collection events at other sites.

"It's just that we feel like recycling and household hazardous waste needs to be expanded a little bit," Zay said.

But officials say it would cost between $50,000 and $150,000 to host a large hazardous waste collection event.

"If there was an alternative to this that we could find that was cheaper, I would be onboard," Elizabeth Chaplin, a Downers Grove Democrat who serves as chairwoman of the environmental committee, said.

Board member Mary FitzGerald Ozog said the county isn't doing enough to promote the facility.

"I think we need a public information campaign," the Glen Ellyn Democrat said.

The cities of Naperville and Aurora, as well as Kane and Will counties, also help fund the facility.

County board member Tim Elliott, a Glen Ellyn Republican, said he favors continued support for the facility but wants DuPage to consider an alternative for residents who live in other parts of the county.

"I'm betting there's more than 400 people from Glen Ellyn or 40 people from Glendale Heights or seven from Itasca that have hazardous waste needs," Elliott said. "We've got to provide a better solution for those people closer to their homes."

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