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Agricultural Information Center

Waste and Disposal Issues

This section concentrates on issues pertaining to household and construction waste, open dumps, used tires and oil, pesticide containers, disposal of dead animals, and septic tanks.

Burn Barrels/Open Burning (Ag Waste Burning, Sec. 237.101)
Backyard burning has been a common trash disposal method in parts of Illinois for years. Reasons for burning trash have changed over time, and so have the hazards. In the past, burning may have been the only option for many, but now there are safer alternatives available.
Illegal Dumping
Abandoned piles of garbage and other refuse, known as open dumps, pose a risk to public health and safety and the environment. This document provides information about reporting illegal dumping and protecting your property against illegal dumping.
Used Tires
Farmers are allowed to accumulate up to 20 used tires on their property without being subject to environmental regulation provided the used tires are prevented from accumulating water. The Illinois EPA has a Consensual Removal Program that allows the Illinois EPA to conduct a one-time removal of up to 1000 used tires from an individual's property at no cost to the individual provided the property owner signs a Consensual Removal Agreement (CRA). The used tire removal can be conducted at the property where the used tires are located or the property owner can participate in a scheduled Countywide Used Tire Collection conducted by the Illinois EPA in conjunction with a unit of local government.
Used Oil
Used oil must be properly disposed or recycled. Used oil should not be used for weed or dust control or burned on bush piles. Improper use or disposal of used oil can contaminate wells, streams and lakes. Fact sheets are available that provide information on the proper management of used oil:
Empty Pesticide Containers
The Illinois Department of Agriculture’s Pesticide Container Recycling Program offers permanent and single-day container collection sites. The container recycling schedule, listing of permanent collection sites and information about preparing pesticide containers for recycling is available at the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s web site.
Dead Animal Disposal Act
The Illinois Department of Agriculture enforces regulations concerning animal welfare. Animal welfare officials also respond to complaints concerning a variety of animal issues, including the improper disposal of dead animals. The Department of Agriculture’s web site contains additional information about the Dead Animal Disposal Act.
Private sewage systems/septic tanks
The Illinois Department of Public Health produces a number of fact sheets about private sewage systems. U.S. EPA’s Homeowner’s Guide to Septic Systems provides information about septic system maintenance.

State laws and environmental regulations governing Composting in Illinois apply based on the waste type, the source of the waste and the location of the compost facility. Different regulations and State laws apply to organic waste composting, landscape waste composting, livestock waste and livestock mortality composting and sewage sludge composting in Illinois.

Generally, if off-site generated organic wastes will be received for composting, a permit from Illinois EPA is required. An exception from permit is made for landscape waste composted and used on an agricultural crop farm that can meet certain setback, operating and location restrictions. Livestock waste generated on the farm may be composted and the finished compost applied to farmland under normal agricultural practices without a permit from the Illinois EPA. The livestock waste handling facility must meet the set back distances in Illinois Department of Agriculture’s Section 35 of the Livestock Management Facilities Act and Section 501.402 of the Illinois EPA’s, Subtitle E, Agricultural Related Pollution regulations. Composting animal mortalities on the farm is subject to the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s regulations under the Dead Animal Disposal Act. Sewage sludge composting is regulated under Illinois EPA water pollution control regulations and is subject to permit.

The Illinois EPA Asbestos Unit is dedicated to protect the people of the State of Illinois and the environment from asbestos exposure. Illinois EPA is delegated authority by the USEPA to enforce the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP). NESHAP regulates asbestos during demolition, renovation and disposal.
Household Hazardous Waste
The Illinois EPA coordinates one-day household hazardous waste collections each year in the spring and fall. The Illinois EPA seeks and encourages communities or organizations to cosponsor household hazardous collection events. Collections are scheduled on Saturdays, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., for the greatest convenience of working families. Citizens are asked to bring harsh chemical cleaners, paints, thinners, antifreeze, weed killers, insecticides and pesticides, and similar hazardous household products. Explosives, propane tanks, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, agricultural chemicals and business wastes are not accepted. View a complete list of household hazardous wastes that are and are not accepted at one-day collections.

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