Now is a good time to clean out your garage and basement and get rid of unwanted products that shouldn't be thrown into the garbage. The city of Springfield is collaborating with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for a household hazardous waste collection on Saturday, Oct. 23, at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. This is open to all Illinois residents, but not businesses or organizations.
Participation is free, but you must register in advance to receive a voucher. Appointments are available every 15 minutes from 8:15 a.m. until 2:45 p.m. When registering, you must designate the category of materials you will bring. This makes the process more efficient and prevents long waits. Acceptable items include lawn chemicals, pesticides, aerosol and oil-based paints, paint thinners, cleaning products, fluorescent tubes and bulbs, old medications, motor oil, lead acid and lithium batteries and solvents. To register and for a complete list of items that are accepted, go to https://www.springfield.il.us/Departments/PublicWorks/HHW.aspx or call the Office of Public Works at 217-789-2255.
Latex-based paint is NOT accepted because it has a low toxicity level and disposal through household hazardous waste collections is expensive. Liquid latex paint should not be placed in your trash, but dried latex paint can be legally and safely disposed of in the garbage. Use kitty litter to dry out the can. Or, pour paint in thin layers on a disposable material and allow to dry. Better yet, use the paint for another project or donate leftover paint to an individual or organization that can use it.
Registration is open through noon on Friday, Oct. 22. On the day of the collection, you will stay in your vehicle while designated staff unload items from your trunk. Enter through Gate 6 on Taintor Road at your designated time. Facemasks are required.