Household Hazardous Waste

For information on hazardous waste drop-off locations or other specialized recycling events, visit the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County website. Residents can recycle CFLs or old batteries at the Skokie Health Department.

Household Chemicals

View a video about How to Get Rid of Paint and Household Chemicals.

Safe Recycling and Disposing of CFLs

CFLs save money and help the environment. Energy Star rated CFLs use up to 75% less electricity than incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer, preventing greenhouse gas emissions that lead to global climate change. Mercury is an essential component of CFLs and is what allows the bulb to be an efficient light source. No mercury is released when the bulbs are intact or in use. ComEd encourages all customers to properly dispose of burned out or broken CFLs.

If a Bulb Breaks

There is little danger from a single bulb breaking, the amount of mercury in a CFL is less than 5mg, roughly the size of a tip on a ballpoint pen. However, as a precaution, take the following steps to dispose of a broken CFL:
  1. Open the window and leave the room for 15 minutes or more.
  2. Do not use a vacuum cleaner - wear gloves and scoop the fragments with cardboard and place them in a puncture-proof, tightly sealed container such a glass jar. On carpet, use sticky tape to pick up small pieces and powder.
  3. Wipe the area clean with damp paper towels.
  4. Place all clean-up materials in the sealed container and bring them to the Skokie Health Department, 5127 Oakton Street. Wash your hands after the clean-up and disposal of the sealed container.
If you must vacuum, remove the vacuum bag after cleaning, put it in two sealed bags and place in the outdoor trash for normal disposal. Source: Environmental Protection Agency.

Access more information on CFL/mercury disposal, or read an informational CFL Recycling Brochure (PDF).

Battery Recycling Program

The Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County (SWANCC) recently established a Battery Recycling Program for rechargeable batteries. Old rechargeable batteries can be dropped off at the Skokie Health Department, 5127 Oakton Street.

Common household batteries are no longer accepted at Illinois EPA-sponsored household chemical waste events and facilities, due to their benign nature and high recycling costs. On the other hand, rechargeable batteries contain heavy metals, which pose a threat to our environment and have a marketable recyclability.

View a video entitled SWANCC's Programs for Special Materials.

Batteries Accepted in SWANCC's Program

  • Alkaline: AA, AAA, C, D and 9V
  • Rechargeable: NiCd, NiMh, lithium ion, lithium polymer
    Before dropping off rechargeable batteries, residents need to tape the contact points on each battery or place them in an individual self-locking plastic bag to avoid sparks.
There are permanent electronic recycling locations open for drop off services.

Electronics Recycling

There is no cost to drop off materials, but the programs are for residents that live in SWANCC member communities. Several local retail businesses provide electronics recycling.
  • Glenview Transfer Station
    1151 N River Road
    Des Plaines
    Saturdays: 9 - 11:30 a.m.
  • Winnetka Public Works
    1390 Willow Road
    Thursdays: 1 to 3 p.m.
  • Abt Electronics
    1200 N Milwaukee Avenue
    Phone: 847-967-8830
  • Staples
    1509 Waukegan Road
    Glenview, IL. 60025
    Phone: 847-832-0283
Please contact the individual locations for details on accepted materials. For more information on recycling please visit the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County website.

Health Department Recycling Opportunities

The Skokie Health Department has a variety of recycling/disposal programs available to residents. These include expired/unused medicine disposal, used syringe disposal, compact fluorescent light bulb recycling and rechargeable battery recycling.