Environmental & Resource Conservation Office
The Environmental & Resource Conservation Office receives a number of inquiries each year. Here are a few of the most common inquiries.
(Click the plus sign to expand and read answers)
Can I recycle a television, computer or electronic item?
Electronic waste events occur twice per year for Grundy County for the convenience of the residents. For more information, please check the ERCO webpage events listing. Also please call Cheryl Wardell at 815-941-3228 or Heidi Miller at 815-941-3229.
How can I dispose of landscape wastes?
One of the easiest ways to rid your self of landscape wastes is to reduce what you generate:
- Use the mulching feature on your mower or tractor.
- Compost when possible. The Environmental & Resource Conservation Office has high quality composters available for $50.00 ea. Please call 815-941-3214.
If you must get rid of yard wastes, check with your hauler as most have a program for the proper disposal of these wastes.
How do I dispose of paint or other materials collectively known as Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)?
To dispose of oil-based paints or other unwanted household chemicals, check with the IEPA at www.epa.state.il.us for a current list of the one-day household hazardous waste collection events in your area.
You may also check with the Naperville HHW site located 156 Fort Hill Drive in Naperville (located just north of Public Works at Fort Hill Drive & Jefferson Avenue. The facility is open on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. excluding holidays. For more information, call 630-420-6095. For a list of items accepted at this site, lease see page fourteen of the Grundy County Green Guide.
What are the disposal/collection options for polystyrene (Styrofoam)?A number of haulers in the County who provide regular residential pickup of materials may take such bulk block polystyrene packaging as well as foam “peanuts”. There are also shipping firms that will accept clean foam peanuts and reuse them in their shipping operations.
A number of haulers in the County who provide regular residential pickup of materials may take such bulk block polystyrene packaging as well as foam “peanuts”. There are also shipping firms that will accept clean foam peanuts and reuse them in their shipping operations. See Green Guide.
Where can I take corrugated cardboard for recycling?
Most of the time haulers who are contracted for residential recycling programs will accept corrugated cardboard. Please check with your hauler for program specifics.
Where can I take my construction & demolition debris for disposal?
According to the Construction Materials Recycling Association, construction and demolition debris (C&D) make up between 25-45% of the waste stream in North America today. Usually such wastes are generated through the private sector by demolition, construction and remodeling contractors. Some of this stream is also generated by dedicated homeowners through remodeling projects in their own home.
A number of items can possibly be reused. Whenever possible, residents should donate or try to reuse any materials that are salvageable. See Green Guide.
Who can I call to pick up white goods?
Due to the hazards of Freon, PCBs and the like, many haulers will not accept such items such as stoves, refrigerators, freezers, etc. If they do, they will generally tack on an additional charge for such a service, while others will provide this service once a year. Please check with your specific hauler for information.
A resident may also wish to contact a metal scrap dealer that may take such items for a fee as well. The scrap dealer may require you to transport the item to them and for you to pay a charge for this service. See Green Guide.
Fruit flies have been surrounding the pile, how do I get rid of them?
How easy is it to compost and what do we do?
Compost materials should be chopped into smaller pieces to allow for better decomposition and mixed when added. Dry leaves should be added to the top of the pile to prevent the fruit flies and odors from the pile. As materials are added to the pile the pile should be turned.
The nitrogen(green) to carbon(brown) should be 2 to 1 for a complete mixture. Turning the pile and adding water in small amounts will aid in the decomposition process and produce high yields in compost more efficiently.
How long is it before I get usable compost?
What can be used as composting materials?
Yard browns and greens such as flowers,vegetable, plant trimmings, hedge clippings, grass,leaves, straw or hay, small twigs/chips, dried grass and weeds.
Kitchen Browns and greens such as coffee filters, stale bread, paper napkins and towels, dryer lint, hair, vegetable and fruit scrape and eggshells.
What can’t you compost?
What do I do in the winter time with the compost bin?
Spring: In the Spring you can take out the composted materials out of the bin for Spring planting and kick start the compost pile or bin with soil to get the microbes, worms and other organisms in the pile to decompose the waste materials.
Summer: Keep adding to the compost pile and continue to stir the bin making sure to keep dry material on top and the rest of the materials moist like a dampened sponge.
Fall: Harvest the compost bin and take out all of the composted materials. Add this rich compost material to your gardens and till into that soil.
Winter: The compost bin may still be added to all winter long. It does decompose slower but will compost through the winter and in the spring that process will speed up for spring usage.
What is composting?
How do I harvest the compost?
My bin has an odor to it.
The worms are trying to leave the bin by crawling up the sides of the bin.
What do I feed the worms and how do I do that?
What does a vermicompost bin consist of?
The bins begin with bedding either a coir or shredded non glossy paper. Then some dirt and water is added and mixed such that the mixture is as wet as a dampened sponge. Then red wiggler worms are added.