Individuals sometimes dump garbage from their own households or businesses rather than disposing of it legally. This practice carries both environmental and legal risks. The responsible alternative is to hire a company to haul away the garbage and dispose of it legally. But be careful. Although most garbage disposal and hauling companies comply with environmental laws, not all haulers are reputable. Household garbage is often found in open dumps. Disreputable haulers find that they can make a bigger profit by illegally dumping the garbage rather than paying the disposal fees to the landfills. Regardless of whether the generator of the garbage has contracted with the hauler, the generator can be held responsible for the garbage if it is illegally disposed.
As a waste generator, take action to reduce your liability:
Landscape waste has been banned from landfills since July l, 1990. There are many landscape waste disposal options:
Tires were banned from landfills on July 1, 1994. More than 14 used million tires are generated each year in Illinois. Consequently, many are not disposed of properly. Used tire dumps become havens for disease carrying mosquitos, and open burning of tires causes air and water pollution.
Items that fall under the classification of "white goods" include refrigerators, freezers, ranges, water heaters, air conditioners, humidifiers, and other similar domestic and commercial large appliances. White goods that have not had their components removed were banned from landfills on July 1, 1994. These components are mercury switches, chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) refrigerant gas (Freon), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
You can arrange to have the appliance hauled to a scrap yard where the metal can be reclaimed.
Lead acid motor vehicle batteries were banned from landfills on September 1, 1990.
Motor oil was banned from landfills on July 1, 1996.
Do not dump used oil in the street, alleyway, on the ground, down the sewer, or use it for dust control. Doing so can pollute waterways and subject you to substantial penalties.
Long term collection sites are located in Naperville, Rockford, Chicago, and Lake County. These locations are open to provide area residents with ongoing locations to take their household hazardous waste.
Universal wastes are widely generated and characterized as hazardous wastes. This category of wastes includes:
Although the universal waste management standards are not applicable to household generated wastes, even small quantities of these wastes are a potential threat to the environment if they are not managed properly.
Landfills accept both clean and general construction and demolition debris. CCDD can be disposed of at CCDD disposal sites with IEPA authorization. The cost is usually about one-tenth of the cost of landfill disposal. It is illegal to open dump either clean or general construction or demolition debris.
Clean construction and demolition debris can be recycled, buried below grade provided it is outside of a groundwater well setback zone, or disposed of in a landfill. If the material is recycled, make sure the recycler is a bona fide recycler; otherwise, the generator, hauler and property owner where the material is placed may be subject to substantial penalties. If buried below grade outside of a groundwater well setback zone, the construction and demolition debris must be covered with sufficient uncontaminated soil to support vegetation within 30 days of the completion of the burial. Broken concrete without protruding metal bars may be used for erosion control.
General construction or demolition debris is defined as non-hazardous, uncontaminated materials resulting from the construction, remodeling, repair, and demolition of utilities, structures, and roads, limited to the following:
If you choose to dispose of construction or demolition debris in a landfill make sure the cost of proper disposal is specified in the contractor's bid. As a precaution, get receipts from your contractor.
For more information about construction and demolition debris disposal management, contact the Illinois EPA's Permit Section at 217-524-3300 or your Illinois EPA Regional Field office.
For local assistance contact your local authorities: