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Health department offers debris disposal tips

Published: Sunday, April 28, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Sunday, April 28, 2013 9:18 p.m. CDT

WOODSTOCK – Residents will need to consider a variety of solid waste disposal options after the recent flooding, as not everything can be thrown to the curb for pickup.

Disposal of items that typically cannot be picked up in a regular collection include hazardous household items such as fuel, cleaners and paint, electronics, large appliances, furniture, tires, landscape waste and even sandbags that many residents used to hold back floodwater. 

The McHenry County Department of Health offers the following tips:

• As many communities have designated waste haulers, contact the waste hauler directly to confirm waste removal services and the cost of disposal. In some cases, special arrangements may need to be made with the waste hauler for large quantities and bulk items.

• View the recently published “2013 McHenry County Green Guide” at for a comprehensive list of disposal and recycling options.

• Thousands of sandbags were distributed. Sandbags that did not contact floodwater can be reused. If sandbags made contact with floodwater, do not reuse in children’s sandboxes or gardens. Floodwater-contaminated sandbags can be disposed of as regular trash to a permitted landfill. For information, call the health department at 815-334-4585. County Planning and Development recommends floodwater sandbags not be emptied in wetlands or floodplain areas. For information, call 815-334-4560. 

• Burning of construction debris, trash and garbage is prohibited. See restrictions in the county ordinance at Restrictions also may be in place in the resident’s municipality. 

• Private homes whose well cap was submerged during the flood can have their well water tested for free from the health department. Once floodwaters have receded, residents should flush the well, disinfect it, and then take a water sample. Sterile water testing bottles must be used and are available; for a complete list of pickup locations, visit 

• A residential electronics and recycling “extravaganza” is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 18 at the McHenry County Government Center campus (west parking lot), 2200 N. Seminary Ave., Woodstock.

Details on cleanup and disinfection are available at For information about floodwater cleanup and recovery, call the health department’s Environmental Health Division at 815-334-4585. 

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