Special Material Drop Off Programs

The Village of Palatine has suspended all SWANCC special materials drop-off programs due to COVID-19 until further notice. Please check back for updates. This includes pharmaceuticals, sharps/needles, mercury thermometers, compact florescent light bulbs (CFLs) and florescent tubes. For alternative drop off locations, please visit www.swancc.org.

The Village of Palatine, in cooperation the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County (SWANCC), is pleased to offer the following free drop off programs for residentially-generated special material including, pharmaceuticals, sharps/needles, mercury thermometers, compact florescent light bulbs (CFLs) and 4 foot florescent light tubes.

Many of these materials collected as part of SWANCC’s residential special material programs have recoverability, recyclability or require special disposal for environmental concerns. Specific drop off guidelines are listed below. Only residential waste is accepted. No waste will be accepted from business, schools or institutions. Residents of any SWANCC member community, including the Village of Palatine, may participate in any SWANCC program regardless of location. For additional information, please visit SWANCC website.

Collection Location & Times


Village of Palatine

200 E Wood Street

Village Services Counter - First Floor

Palatine, IL 60067


Monday - Friday

9 a.m - 4 p.m.


Bring residentially-generated pharmaceuticals, including over-the-counter, non-controlled medications. See list below for acceptable and unacceptable items. No controlled substances will be accepted. For a list of controlled substances visit the Diversion Control Division of the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Agency website.

Pharmaceuticals must be in the original container with labels to identify contents. Personal information such as name, address or phone on the prescription label can be blackened out.

Acceptable Items:

  • Unused and expired prescription medications
  • Prescription cough syrup
  • Prescription eye and ear drops
  • Unused and expired over-the-counter medications

Unacceptable Items:

  • Controlled substances and non-prescription liquids.

Controlled substances can be crushed and mixed with an undesirable substance like coffee grounds or kitty litter, and then thrown away in the garbage.

For additional program information visit the SWANCC website.


Bring residentially-generated sharps/needles in a red biohazard container or a rigid plastic laundry detergent bottle with a lid or a coffee can. Containers must have a clear visible lid or be opened by resident upon request to view contents. All sharps/needles must be put into containers at home. No loose or bagged sharps/needles will be accepted. The Environmental Health Division will also provide a free 1-quart or 1-gallon sharps container to residents who administer home-injections, while supplies last. When the sharps/needles container is full, the resident should bring the container back for proper disposal.

For additional program information visit the SWANCC website.

Mercury Thermometers

Bring residentially-generated mercury containing items such as thermometers, thermostats and wall switches. All mercury containing items shall be in a sealed in a plastic bag.

For additional program information the SWANCC website.

Compact Florescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) & Florescent Tubes

Bring residentially-generated light bulbs that contain mercury, such as compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs that come in many shapes and sizes. Bring up to 4’ in length fluorescent light tubes that are sealed in a plastic bag. Do not bring any incandescent bulbs, as they contain no mercury and can be disposed of in the garbage. Broken light bulbs will not be accepted. A limit of 12 lights will be accepted from a resident per visit.

For additional program information go to the SWANCC website.

Additional Resources

Palatine Ace Hardware located at 239 E Northwest Highway also offers programs for the recycling of batteries, compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs and paint. Please contact Palatine Ace Hardware at 847-358-8100 for program info.

Green Pages Directory

Be sure to visit the SWANCC Green Pages Directory for a list of over 1,000 items that can be reused, recycled or safely disposed. SWANCC’s Green Pages Directory lists reuse opportunities for books, clothing, office equipment, sporting goods, toys and other materials. This guide also provides information on various aspects of recycling and waste, featuring sections for appliances, batteries, construction debris, electronics, office machines, cartridges, metals, motor oil and many other items.

For additional information regarding the special materials drop off programs, contact the Environmental Health Division at 847-359-9090 or SWANCC at 847-724-9205.