A new environmental collection center in Naperville will be a one-stop location for dropping off both recyclable items and household hazardous waste.
State and local officials gathered Friday to break ground on the $1.8 million project at the Naperville Public Works facility, 180 Fort Hill Drive and celebrate grant money from the state.
"I think it's so important that the city of Naperville is such a leader when it comes to recycling and the whole idea of energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation," Gov. Pat Quinn said. "Those are the hallmarks of the 21st century."
Naperville currently has one of four hazardous waste disposal sites in the state at Fire Station 4 on Brookdale Road. It also collects recyclable materials at its Public Works facility.
"The new collection facility will bring both of those together, kind of a one-stop shop for when you have something that you no longer need," City Manager Doug Krieger said.
City officials say they would like to expand evening and weekend hours to encourage residents to participate.
Roughly 50 percent of the current usage of city's hazardous waste center comes from Naperville residents and the rest from DuPage, Kane and Will counties, according to Naperville Fire Department Capt. Rick Zakaras. There is no fee for hazardous waste disposal at the drive-up facility, but officials ask users their town of residence.
The environmental collection center will accept traditional recyclables like paper, glass and plastic as well as non-traditional items like batteries, oil, paint and prescription drugs.
Last year, Naperville collected more than 15 tons of traditional recyclable items plus 260 tons of non-traditional items from more than 16,000 users.
Construction on the center is expected to begin before the end of 2013 and take at least a full year to complete.
The project will be funded in part by a $900,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
"(The grant) is very appropriate because the facility serves not only Naperville, but the surrounding communities as well," Krieger said.
State Sen. Michael Connelly, R-Lisle, said the grant money was a bipartisan, collaborative effort between the governor and legislature.
"In some ways, it's the state thanking Naperville for taking on recycling hazardous waste from other towns," Connelly said. "Some of the smaller communities don't have the capabilities to do this. So the fact that Naperville takes a regional leadership role is crucial for those towns."