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Illinois EPA issues exemption for storm debris taken to Waste Management landfills

To aid in recovery efforts following recent storms and flooding in the Greater St. Louis area, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has approved disposal of resulting debris at three Metro East landfills operated by Waste Management.

They are the Milam and North Milam facilities in the East St. Louis area and Cottonwood Hills Recycling and Disposal Facility in Marissa.

The cleanup from the localized flooding and high winds is resulting in trees and branches commingled with other flood and storm debris such as building materials, tree limbs and other materials. Waste Management submitted a request to the Illinois EPA seeking exemptions from prohibitions against landfilling trees and branches. Many disposal loads are expected to be too cross-contaminated to bring to the North Milam Compost Facility.

The request sought temporary approval to take the flood/storm debris that may contain compostable materials directly to active landfills in the area.

In recognition of the extreme circumstances, the Illinois EPA issued a 45-day exemption for the three Waste Management facilities that extends from now through Sept. 24.

Whenever practicable, branches, leaves, and other compostable materials will be removed and taken to the North Milam Compost Facility. The company said it will also make reasonable efforts to remove any white goods and electronics if found to be present.

Illinois EPA has published a fact sheet on Storm, Flood Debris and Disaster Areas for municipalities and residents to outline what can be done to ensure that waste and debris are disposed of in a safe and environmentally sound manner.

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