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Electronics Recycling

SWANCC offers weekly drop-off locations for electronics and one-day collection events.

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Document Destruction

The Agency continues to provide seasonal Document Destruction Events for residents.

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Drugs/Sharps Disposal

SWANCC provides weekly drop-off locations for unused pharmaceuticals and sharps.

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Chemical Disposal

The State sponsors collection facilities and one-day events for household chemical waste.

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News and Events

Food Scrap Composting Challenges and Solutions in Illinois Report Food Scrap Composting Challenges and Solutions in Illinois Report This report is designed to educate elected officials, composting industry stakeholders and advocates, and the public at-large about opportunities and strategies related to developing a robust food scrap composting industry in Illinois. This report and the Executive Summary of Recommendations support the work of the Task Force on the Advancement of Materials Recycling, and include recommendations... More detail
Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy The Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy guides state efforts to improve water quality at home and downstream by reducing nitrogen and phosphorus levels in our lakes, streams, and rivers. The strategy lays out a comprehensive suite of best management practices for reducing nutrient loads from wastewater treatment plants and urban and agricultural runoff. Recommended activities target the state’s... More detail
Illinois Recycling Task Force Submits Final Report Illinois Recycling Task Force Submits Final Report On January 1, 2015 the Task Force on the Advancement of Material Recycling submitted their report to outgoing Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) and the 98th General Assembly. The 21-member task force, created as a result of legislation signed into law in 2012, reviewed the status of recycling and solid waste management planning in the state and provided recommendations for expanding waste reduction, recycling,... More detail
Solid Waste Management Plan Solid Waste Management Plan Draft Solid Waste Management Plan Update Available for Public Review Three regional stakeholder meetings held in September were attended by approximately 50 municipal officials, municipal staff, waste and recycling service providers, and members of the public. Each of the meetings included an introductory presentation by Shaw and SWANCC staff, followed by comments, questions, and discussion from... More detail

Popular Resources

Waste Reduction Solutions Brochure Waste Reduction Solutions Brochure Recycling is important, not only to save energy and to conserve our natural resources, but to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills. Recycling can be beneficial to your school by cutting down on... More detail
Eco-Friendly Marketplace Eco-Friendly Marketplace Resources, Publications, ReuseApparel and Accessories Accessories, Clothing, Footwear, Special OccasionsAppliances and Electronics Resources, Related ProductsBaby Items Clothing, Diapers, Food, F... More detail
Community Awareness Flyer Community Awareness Flyer SWANCC provides many programs and resources to member residents. This document provides an at-a-glance look at what SWANCC has to offer as well as an overview of what materials go in the recycling bin... More detail

Northwest Cook County Balefill

Need for the Balefill

  • The Chicago Metropolitan Region of Illinois generates 73.7% of the state’s municipal solid waste (MSW) but only has 12.8% of the state’s remaining landfill capacity.
  • Landfill capacity in the region will be depleted in just over five years (2006).
  • (Source: Nonhazardous Solid Waste Management and Landfill Capacity in Illinois, 1999 Annual Report, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, January 2001)


  • SWANCC owns approximately 410 acres in Cook County, Illinois. The property is located in northwestern Cook County. Specifically, it is in unincorporated Hanover Township, just east of the Kane County border and approximately 1/2 mile north of DuPage County.
  • The Balefill is planned for 142 of the 410 acres.
  • The footprint of the Balefill will have significant buffers from the adjacent property boundaries. Buffers from surrounding properties will be approximately 1,000 feet to the east and 1,800 feet to the south.
  • The United States Congress required the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to study the effects of the Balefill on the St. Charles Aquifer (formally Newark Valley Aquifer). The Corp concluded that there would be no risk to the Aquifer from the Balefill. St. Charles Aquifer (formally Newark Valley Aquifer) is ½ mile to the West.

Regulatory Issues

  • SWANCC predecessor entered into option to purchase the Balefill Site May, 1986.
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers letter stating no jurisdiction, April 17, 1986.
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers letter stating no jurisdiction, March 4, 1987.
  • Cook County Zoning Board of Appeals approval received, November 4, 1987. - 10 days of hearings
  • Cook County Commissioners approval received, November 16, 1987.
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers letter stating jurisdiction, November 16, 1987.
  • IEPA development permit approval received, November 16, 1989.
  • Cook County PUD approval received, January 16, 1990.
  • Permit application filed with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE), February 8, 1990.
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers & USEPA Report to Congress stating that the Balefill poses no risk to the Newark Valley Aquifer, May 11, 1990.
  • SWANCC purchased the Balefill property August 1990.
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Denial of Balefill permit application, January 31, 1991.
  • Permit application filed with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE), October, 1992.
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Denial of Balefill permit application, July 21, 1994.


  • Illinois Supreme Court rules for SWANCC against Kane County, Village of Bartlett, City of Elgin and the Citizens Against the Balefill challenging the Balefill’s zoning, November 2, 1995.
  • SWANCC files lawsuit in United States District Court challenging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers jurisdiction over the Balefill property, December 1994.
  • U.S. District Court rules against SWANCC on March 25, 1998.
  • U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirms District Court decision, October 7, 1999
  • U.S. Supreme Court grants writ of certiorari on May 24, 2000
  • U.S. Supreme Court Decision January 9, 2001

Financial Issues

  • SWANCC paid approximately $5 million for the Balefill property.
  • Approximately $30 million of SWANCC’s debt is attributable to the Balefill.
  • Balefill would save SWANCC members approximately $4.5 million dollars per year in tipping fees or $90 million over the life of the facility, compared to utilizing private sector landfills.

General SWANCC Information

  • 23 municipalities are members of SWANCC.
  • Approximately 800,000 residents.
  • Members deliver 250,000 tons of waste annually to SWANCC’s transfer station in Glenview.
  • Members recycle over 150,000 tons of material, which is approximately 40% of the total residential waste stream.

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