Naperville’s Hazardous Waste Facility May Need To Dispose Of Itself

Have you ever noticed how ideas almost always sound good in the beginning, but then as you consider the pitfalls, ramifications, speed bumps, and unintended consequences, those great ideas aren’t as appealing. Successful businesses and families are successful because those considerations are given high priority in the decision-making process.

It doesn’t necessarily work that way in government, where the decision-making process has two components, 1) let’s do it, and 2) there is no ‘off’ position on the funding pipeline. Foolish indeed, but that’s where the State of Illinois, the City of Naperville, and Naperville’s household hazardous waste facility find themselves. The funding pipeline has been narrowed, with more narrowing likely to come. Naperville’s facility, located on Fort Hill Drive, might be forced to cut hours of operation, or close unless ‘needed’ funding can be found to keep it up and running.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) which previously funded operations, has capped the expense in 2018 to less than half what it paid in 2017. Naperville’s facility was the first to open in Illinois, followed by Rockford and Chicago. The IEPA has contracted with Naperville to pick-up, transport, and ultimately dispose of the hazardous materials that have been dropped off at the site by residents from surrounding communities, primarily in DuPage, Will, and Kane counties.

The idea of the facility sounded great, at the time, and maybe it could have been, but it hasn’t turned out that way.  I am reminded of the Universal Epitaph that could be written on all headstones in cemeteries, “At the time, I thought it was a good idea”

Show 3 Comments


  1. Gerard H Schilling

    Naperville our stalworth of waste, inefficacy, boondoggles and associated malfeasance and fiscal irresponsibility has done it again.

    Our council’s greed compounded by a totally inept city business manager has and continues to do this to our hard working, tax paying citizens.

    The MO goes something like this. If there is grant money (federal, state or both) for any cockamamie scheme, idea, plan etc. and matching funds to be had our city will do it. It goes without saying the lobbyists are usually politically connected hacks, relatives or friends who have financial gains from these endeavors

    Chalk-up one more fiasco and continue to wonder when will it ever end. Next up in the unneeded Wi-Fi park another obsolete wet dream which will end up costing us more tax dollars.

    • Jim Haselhorst

      Not sure were you are getting your “facts” (or alternative facts) but the Wi-Fi Park has all the private funding in place to cover all the costs of construction as well as establish a trust fund to cover future maintenance and updates needs (which cannot be said for any project under taken privately or by any government organization in our community to date, i.e. it is a first, which is probably why certain people have such a hard time “wrapping their heads around it”).

      As to obsolete this park is intended to be 5G, you know the new technology that not even the phone companies are rolling out yet, the same technology the federal government considers essential to the future of wireless operations in the USA.

  2. Jim Haselhorst

    First it is important to remember that all the waste collected at the Naperville facility is illegal to place in household trash for curbside pickup. So if you have any old antifreeze, dead electronics, bad batteries, etc and you are caught throwing these items in your trash, you can be fined thousands of dollars possibly even sentenced to jail. To get rid of these items legally you have to take them to someone licensed to properly dispose of them. If the government stops providing this collection service the only legal avenue left is going directly to the private companies that usually provide these services for other companies and charge considerable fees because they are not really setup to work with the small and infrequent amounts coming from households.

    One of the responsibilities of government is to do the jobs that need doing but private companies will not do for practical or liability reasons. Legal disposal of household hazardous waste is one such job and these facilities fulfill that responsibility. The problem was never one of “looking for grant money” for money sake or “lets do it” because the funding has no “off switch”, but rather how to provide citizens a legal and practical way to dispose of the inevitable household hazardous waste that every household produces from time to time.

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