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Illinois EPA Collects Hazardous Waste

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency

 The state wants to help residents of western Illinois detoxify the environment. Tomorrow, the Illinois EPA will collect hazardous waste at the Henry County Fairgrounds in Cambridge.

It's one of seven collections the agency holds every fall. Spokeswoman, Kim Biggs, says residents can get rid of chemical cleaners, batteries, weed killer, oil-based paint, and other materials they shouldn't put in the garbage.

"Residents don't even have to get out of the car. They stay in their vehicles and will drive through where the collection site is and there will be staff on hand that will remove any of the items and make sure they are properly disposed of."

The agency sends the hazardous waste to special landfills. Since the program started in 1989, the Illinois EPA has collected over 85,000 55-gallon drums of toxic waste. Biggs say it's a growing trend in environmental consciousness.

"Programs like our household hazardous waste collection give individuals an opportunity to do their part to reduce their contribution. All of these items that we accept can be environmental hazards, so all of these efforts are a way to improve the overall environment and air quality."

Anyone can drop off their hazardous materials at the Henry County Fairgrounds in Cambridge tomorrow from 8 am to 3 pm.

For more information about the list of materials the Illinois EPA will collect, visit the EPA's website.

Renata Sago is WMFE's general assignment reporter and occasional Morning Edition anchor. She covers everything from major political campaigns and unemployment to civil rights legislation and the performing arts for WMFE and NPR.