Plastic retail and grocery bags are a big nuisance and are often referred to as "urban tumbleweeds." Choose paper bags whenever possible or simply reuse a cotton tote. If you have that growing pile at home, you can recycle them at most Walmart, Shop n' Save, or Dierbergs stores. The recycling bins are located in the front foyer of each store and are clearly marked.
Want to learn more about the environmental damage of plastic bags? Click here.
Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (CFL's)
CFL bulbs have a small amount (size of a ballpoint pen point) of mercury in them. When they burn out, you may take them to any Home Depot customer service counter for FREE recycling/disposal. Although all Home Depots nationwide are accepting the bulbs, residents have three located in Madison County (Alton, Collinsville, & Edwardsville.)
If you accidentally break a bulb or need more information on CFL bulbs, please click here for EPA guidelines and Energy Star information.
Motor Oil and Automotive Batteries
In Madison County, if an auto parts and repair shop has a Mart, Lube, or Zone on the storefront sign, then it's probably an oil recycling friendly place. Also, remember that you can trade in your old car battery when you purchase your new one!
Here's a list of recyclers - remember to call for details prior to visiting:
-Amoco - full service station - oil and batteries
-Auto Zone - oil and batteries
-Jiffy Lube - Oil
-Rapid Lube - Oil
-Valvolene - Oil
-K-Mart Auto Service - Batteries
-Wal-Mart Tire and Lube - Batteries
Auto batteries are also accepted at The Recycling Shop in Wood River: (618) 254-6007.
Illinois law requires all retailers of new auto tires to accept used tires for recycling when you purchase your new tires. This really is the easiest way to dispose of your old tires. Think about it - if the tires are bad enough to need replacement, why would you take them home!
But, if you have old tires you'd like to recycle, check with the leading retailers in your Yellow Pages Directory, or call:
420 S. Illinois St.
For more information on the IEPA sponsored tire programs click here.
Wondering what to do with that old tv, computer, or stereo? Totall Metal Recycling and Office Depot recycle old electronics for small fees year-round. For quick electronic recycling needs, contact:
-Totall Metal Recycling*
2684 Missouri Avenue
Granite City, IL 62040
6647 Edwardsville Crossing Dr.
Edwardsville, IL 62025
303 East Homer Adams Parkway
Alton, IL 62002
*Fees range from $5-$15 depending on quantity and item type. Please call ahead for details.
Periodically, there are electronics recycling events throughout Madison County for residents. Click on our Special Events link to see if there is an ewaste event in our area.
There's also a not for profit organization that has weekly collections of computers and computer related equipment. Click here for more information.
If you have rechargeable batteries, such as nickel-cadmium batteries, cell phone batteries, etc, don't throw those in the trash, recycle them.
You can recycle your batteries at the Edwardsville Public Library drop-off, your nearest Lowes Home Improvement store or click here to find recycling locations near you. It's okay to dispose of regular, household, batteries with your regular trash.
Madison County residents may take any unused prescription/nonpresription medication to the following locations & times free-of-charge:
-Schnucks, 3100 Madison Avenue, Granite City- Every 2nd Thursday of the
-Schnucks, 2712 Godfrey Road, Godfrey- Every 4th Thursday of the month
Please leave all medication in original container. Medications accepted include liquid, capsule, and powder forms. For security purposes, all customers will be asked to wait as the medication is identified. Medical equipment and hazardous waste is prohibited.
Latex & Oil-Based Paint
The easiest way to dispose of old paint is to use it up completely. But, what happens when you're all done and you still have paint leftover? The IEPA Household Hazardous Waste Management Unit has some advice:
Keep Painting - Yep, sounds silly, but what better place to
put that last pint or so of paint but right there up on the
wall! Then, let the empty can dry out and dispose of it
with your regular household trash.
Paint Something Else - It doesn't even have to need the paint. This works well if you have a small amount left in the can. An old piece of cardboard, scrap limber, or even the inside of your garage will do. Again, let the can dry out and dispose of it with your regular household trash.
Store it for later -Everyone has half-filled paint cans with good intentions to use them for "touch-ups" which never come. Your garage or basement ends up being a graveyard where paint goes to expire and die. To save your paint for a later date, just cover the opening with plastic wrap, put the lid on securely, so it doesn't leak, then turn the can upside down! This creates a tight seal, keeping the paint fresh. Also, try to store the paint at room temp - so it doesn't freeze and thaw.
The Ultimate Kitty Litter Paint Disposal Method:
First, determine if the paint is still liquefied. If it's completely dried out, you may place the lid back on and dispose of it with your regular trash. If it's liquid then do the following:
1. Buy a cheap bag of cat litter. Pour it into the liquid paint in the paint can.
2. Then, wait for the cat litter and paint mixture to solidify - if the paint is oil or solvent based, make sure you're in a well ventilated area away from ignition sources. Once the paint is completely absorbed by the cat litter.....
3. Place the lids back on the cans and mix with your regular trash, or leave the lids off the cans at the curb so the hauler can see that it's all dried up - your waste hauler will take it from there!
What if I have more than just paint and motor oil?
The IEPA sponsors household hazardous waste collection days around the state of Illinois. Madison County applies for these collections and usually has at least one per year. To see if the county has a collection scheduled, click here for the date and location. To see a complete list of all the IEPA events scheduled click on this site IEPA. Any Illinois resident can participate at any collection location.