Household hazardous materials and unwanted pesticides can mount up. Michelle Wiesbrook, University of Illinois Extension specialist with the Pesticide Safety Education Program, offered a few options for disposing of old or unwanted pesticides.

Use them. Usually products can be applied to a labeled-use site regardless of whether or not pests are present. Be sure to read and follow all label directions, Wiesbrook saidd.

Sometimes pesticides are taken off the market, or certain uses are removed from the label. In those cases, existing stocks can typically still be used, according to Wiesbrook. Rarely does the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency order a stop-use on the product. However, it is illegal to apply old stocks of chlordane or 2,4,5-T, she warned.

To learn about the registration status of your product, contact the manufacturer or the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) at 217-785-2427.

Give them away. Neighboring gardeners may be interested, but Wiesbrook does not recommend selling unwanted pesticides. To legally sell a pesticide, the product must still be in the original packaging with the complete label. If the pesticide is restricted use, the seller must be licensed to sell it. If the product registration has been canceled, selling is illegal, she said.

Take to hazardous waste collection. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) scheduled a few one-day household hazardous waste collections across the state. Click here for a list of acceptable and unacceptable materials. If in doubt, first contact IEPA’s Waste Reduction Unit at 217-524-3300.

Collections for nonhousehold pesticides also are planned.

Agricultural pesticides are collected at Agricultural Pesticide Clean Sweep events. Call IDOA at 217-785-2427.

Structural pesticides used by professional applicators to control pests in and around structures are collected at Structural Pesticide Clean Sweep sites. Contact the Illinois Department of Public Health at 217-782-4674.

A one-day household hazardous waste collection will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Nov. 7 on the Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield. This is open to all Illinois residents.

The following long-term facilities are available for household hazardous waste disposal. Wiesbrook recommended phoning ahead for availability and hours.

  • City of Chicago, Household Chemicals and Computer Recycling Facility, 1150 N. North Branch on Goose Island, Tuesdays, Thursdays and the first Saturday of each month. Call 312-744-3060.
  • Rockford, Rock River Reclamation District, 3333 Kishwaukee, Saturdays and Sundays. Call 815-987-5570.
  • Naperville, Household Hazardous Waste Facility, 156 Fort Hill Drive, Saturdays and Sundays. Call 630-420-6095.
  • Lake County, Solid Waste Agency of Lake County operates a long-term household chemical waste collection program. Call 847-336-9340.