Compostable waste collections can be conducted under local approval without having to obtain a waste permit from the Illinois EPA, as long as certain requirements are followed. Collections can be operated as either one-day collection events or as permanent drop-off locations. Individuals or organizations wishing to host a compostable waste collection must obtain approval in writing from their local municipality, or their county in unincorporated areas, and must conduct the collection in accordance with Sec. 22.55 of the Environmental Protection Act (415 ILCS 5/22.55) and any conditions imposed by the approving county or municipality.
In all cases, compostable waste collections conducted under local approval must adhere to the following:
- The collection must be limited to compostable waste. “Compostable waste” is defined as household waste that is source-separated food scrap, household waste that is source-separated landscape waste, or a mixture of both.
- Information promoting the event and signs at the event must clearly indicate the types of compostable waste authorized for collection. They must also include examples of waste that is not being collected to discourage the receipt of unacceptable waste.
- Compostable waste must be accepted only from private individuals.
- The compostable waste must be managed in a manner that protects against releases of the waste, prevents nuisances, and otherwise protects human health and the environment.
- The compostable waste must be secured in non-porous, rigid, leak-proof containers.
- The total amount of compostable waste that can be located at a collection site at any one time is 40 cubic yards for one-day collection events and 10 cubic yards for permanent collection locations.
- Management of the compostable waste must be limited to acceptance, temporary storage before transfer, and off-site transfer of the waste.
- All compostable waste must be transferred off-site to a permitted compost facility within 48 hours of a one-day event, or not less frequently than once every 7 days for a permanent collection location.
- Waste other than approved compostable waste that is received must be disposed of within 48 hours of a one-day event, or not less frequently than once every 7 days for a permanent collection location.
- The collection must adhere to any conditions imposed by the approving municipality or county.
If you have any questions about compostable waste collections please contact the Bureau of Land’s Waste Reduction and Compliance Section at (217) 524-3300.