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.
Hazardous waste collectionThe city of Naperville's new Household Hazardous Waste facility will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
Items accepted: Aerosol cans, automotive fluids including oil, gasoline and antifreeze; asbestos materials, batteries, including those from cars, boats and sump pumps; fire extinguishers, flammables, fluorescent bulbs and compact fluorescent bulbs, household cleaners, pool chemicals, drain openers, mercury, oil-based paints and stains, peanut oil, poison, pesticides, fertilizers, prescription medications, propane tanks weighing 20 pounds or less, solvents and strippers, thermostats, unknown hazardous substances.
Not accepted: Ammunition, compressed gas other than propane, electronics (these are accepted from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays at the recycling drop-off center at 180 Fort Hill Drive), empty spray cans and containers, explosives, helium tanks, latex paint, paper, glass, metal, wood, Styrofoam, radioactive materials, needles, lancets, smoke detectors, tires, trash and nonhazardous materials, consumer products that are unopened and usable.
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.