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updated: 2/21/2015 8:02 AM

New Naperville collection center ready for hazardous waste

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  • A new Household Hazardous Waste collection center in Naperville opens at 9 a.m. today to accept things such as fertilizer, antifreeze, oil and batteries.

    A new Household Hazardous Waste collection center in Naperville opens at 9 a.m. today to accept things such as fertilizer, antifreeze, oil and batteries.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Naperville Fire Department hazardous materials team members Capt. Rick Zakaras and Capt. Mark Chmura take a look around the new Household Hazardous Waste collection center Friday in Naperville on Friday. The 6,000-square-foot collection center opens at 9 a.m. Saturday

    Naperville Fire Department hazardous materials team members Capt. Rick Zakaras and Capt. Mark Chmura take a look around the new Household Hazardous Waste collection center Friday in Naperville on Friday. The 6,000-square-foot collection center opens at 9 a.m. Saturday
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • People dropping off household hazardous waste at the new collection center at 156 Fort Hill Drive in Naperville will pull under the overhang on the building's west side, where technicians will unload the materials before sorting them inside.

    People dropping off household hazardous waste at the new collection center at 156 Fort Hill Drive in Naperville will pull under the overhang on the building's west side, where technicians will unload the materials before sorting them inside.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Video: Hazardous waste collection

 
 

The line to drop off household hazardous waste in Naperville is about to get shorter.

At 9 a.m. today, the city's new $1.2 million drop-off facility will open to accept materials such as antifreeze, fertilizer, cleaning solutions, oil and batteries from anyone who visits the collection center at 156 Fort Hill Drive.

Fire department Capt. Rick Zakaras said the line to drop off such hazardous materials at fire station No. 4, the previous collection location, usually kept people waiting for 45 minutes as technicians removed and sorted items from their vehicles at the curb. Now, with the opening of the 6,000-square-foot collection center, Zakaras hopes to decrease that wait time to about 20 minutes.

"The most convenient thing is we have more room to bring materials in to sort them than we did in our previous facility," Zakaras said.

The center is one of four in the state that accepts hazardous waste year-round, and state money helped it get built.

Before cutting a ribbon strung between two blue barrels Friday afternoon, Naperville Mayor George Pradel thanked the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity for a $900,000 grant that covered more than 75 percent of the building's cost.

He said the facility will help "provide a more sustainable world for our residents and neighbors" because people from as far away as Bloomington and Springfield have come to Naperville to dispose of hazardous materials.

The Naperville collection center is farthest south of the four in Illinois, as others are in Gurnee, Chicago and Rockford. Between May 2013 and April 2014, the collection point at fire station 4 accepted 266 tons of hazardous waste.

City Manager Doug Krieger said demand for safe disposal options is increasing as residents become more environmentally conscious and dedicated to recycling.

"We project that our collection will increase significantly," Krieger said.

Two off-duty hazardous materials technicians from the Naperville fire department will staff the facility during its opening day from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. along with two assistants to greet drivers as they arrive. Regular collection hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.