Recycle Palos - Household Hazardous Waste

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
Every year the IEPA holds One-Day Collection Sites throughout the area. Check the website for collections sites on their calendar.

Acceptable Wastes at One-Day Collections
Oil-based paints Household Batteries
Paint thinners Used motor oil
Herbicides Drain cleaners
Insecticides Lawn chemicals
Pesticides Solvents
Old Gasoline Antifreeze
Pool Chemicals Hobby chemicals
Cleaning Products Aerosol paints and pesticides
Mercury Fluorescent lamp bulbs
Double bagged and wetted asbestos Old and outdated medicines and pharmaceuticals

Unacceptable Wastes
Please Do Not Bring Latex Paint (see below)
Agricultural chemicals Propane Tanks*
Business/commercial sector wastes Smoke detectors
Explosives Farm machinery oil
Fireworks Fire extinguishers*
Lead Acid Batteries Institutional Wastes
Medical Wastes Sharps, needles and potentially infectious medical wastes

* Although the Illinois EPA's contractors do not accept automotive batteries, propane tanks, or fire extinguishers, cosponsors may elect to contact a vendor willing to set up and accept these materials on the day of the collection event. Call the Illinois EPA to verify materials being accepted.

The Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC) has developed a network of retailers available to accept nickel cadmium batteries for subsequent recycling. If you would like to find a retailer near you, go to the RBRC site and click on Ni-CD drop-off locations.

Disposal Options for Latex Paint

Used Paint Disposal Alternatives

IEPA's Household Hazardous Waste Program is a widely accepted and acclaimed system that works with local governments to divert residential waste materials with hazardous characteristics out of local solid waste landfills. The demand for this service far exceeds state resources available to deal with the wastes. A number of cost-containment features have been implemented over the years to increase efficiency, but demand continues to accelerate.

At every collection, in every part of the state, paint is the most common material delivered by Illinois citizens. Encouragement to use up leftover paint or give usable paint to a neighbor has not decreased the amount of latex paint significantly. Today's latex (water-based) paint has a very low level of toxicity. Disposing of it at a household hazardous waste collection day is very expensive. Therefore, the Illinois EPA encourages people with unwanted latex paint to use other options.

Disposal Alternatives
After your painting job is done you may have some leftover paint. The question now is: "What should you do with it?" Here are some alternatives:

Keep Painting!
This may sound simple, and it is. What better place to put that last pint or so of paint but right up there on the wall where it blends in perfectly with all the other paint you just put up there. Sure, it's a little extra work - and right when you thought you're done for the day - but you'll be rid of that extra paint for good. Simply let the can dry and then recycle or dispose of it.

Paint Something Else!
It doesn't even have to need the paint. Use an old piece of cardboard, some scrap lumber, or the inside of your garage. Just about anywhere would probably work to use up that last bit of paint. Again, let the can dry and recycle or dispose of it.

Use an Absorbent like Kitty Litter!
Kitty litter, sawdust, shredded paper or just about anything else that will absorb moisture and let the paint dry out should work here. Depending on how full the can is, you can just add the absorbent to the can and mix it up. When the liquids are absorbed, dry the mixture out or dispose of it directly. You may be able to empty the can, dry it out, and recycle it.

Give it to Someone!
Look around and you may find somebody who needs to paint a small area. Some schools or local theatres will take some small amounts of paint for scenery.

Store it for Later!
Everyone has good intentions to use half-filled paint cans for "touch-ups" that never come. Also, many people have saved paint that becomes unusable over time before it's called into action. If you do save your paint for later, follow some easy tips to make the paint last longer. Just cover the opening with plastic wrap, and make sure the lid fits securely so the paint doesn't leak. Then turn the paint can upside down! This creates a tight seal, and keeps the paint fresh to use again.


This information is not an endorsement of any company, product, or service.