Over the weekend, we addressed what must certainly be a common problem in Oak Park households; the proper disposal of old paints and stains, solvents, pesticides and other such materials generally described as hazardous. Because we wanted to do it by the book, we separated out all of the latex-based paints and other non-hazardous materials (following some simple guidelines we learned online), removed and dried the residue in those paint cans with absorbent clay, and discarded them as part of the regular waste material program. We searched online for a local hazardous materials collection site and learned of such a place at the Naperville Fire Department. The site is open Saturdays and Sundays, 9 a.m to 3 p.m. and is staffed with a very professional, efficient team.

We remember that there was a hazardous material collection site here in the village some years ago, located on South Boulevard and opened at convenient times during the year for the collection and disposal of such materials. The staff then accepted materials, including batteries and motor oil, photo chemicals, etc. in addition to paints and pesticides. We could use such a service again, and we urge the board to give this serious consideration.

While we may not need to replicate the Naperville facility, we could have a substation where such items could be collected and safely stored for periodic transfer to Naperville for proper disposal. Such bulk transfers of hazardous materials would further reduce the pollution related to numerous individual household deliveries.

Mr. [David] Pope, in your welcome letter, you refer to sustaining and enhancing our high quality of life in the village of Oak Park. By making the proper disposal of hazardous materials more accessible and bringing it a little closer to home, we would encourage a broader participation in a very important program. In the short term and the long term, care of the environment must be high on our list of priorities in sustaining our high quality of life.

Tim & Kathleen Lennon
Oak Park

Join the discussion on social media!