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Washington Today (quarterly city newsletter)
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Leaf Burning Facts

Consider the Following

Consider the health consequences.....The open burning of leaves produces a number of toxic, irritant, and carcinogenic (cancer causing) compounds. Infants, the elderly, asthmatics and persons with chronic heart and lung disease are at special risk.

Consider your neighbors.....The smoke and smell of burning leaves can ruin an otherwise beautiful Fall day for your neighbors.

Consider yourself and your family.....Tending leaf fires exposes you directly to the smoke and pollutants. Once inhaled, these microscopic particles can remain in your lungs for months or even years.

Consider the environment.....Whether from a smokestack or a pile of burning leaves, air pollution degrades our environment. Leaf burning results in a number of undesirable by-products including sulfur dioxide which contributes to the acidification of lakes and streams and damages trees and crops.

Consider the options.....
  • Yard Waste Sticker Service - Stickers are available at City Hall for $4.00/per sticker. Each bag, container, or bundle requires 1-sticker. Items showing a sticker are picked up on the same day as your regular household trash and recycling.
  • Shred leaves with your lawn mower and leave them on your lawn…it’s great fertilizer.
  • Place leaves on gardens and around flower beds…it’s great mulch.
  • Compost your leaves…it’s easier than you think…for details on the Web, click here.
  • Subscribe to landscape waste collection services offered by Waste Management…call 1-800-796-9696 for details.
  • If you still choose to burn, please do so safely and be respectful of your neighbors:

    • Burn only dry materials that combust efficiently….wet materials burn poorly, smolder and emit more harmful smoke.
    • Don’t burn on windy days or days when the wind blows directly toward nearby neighbors.
    • Burning several small fires is preferable to one large one as the leaves will burn faster, reducing air pollution.
    • Burn during daylight hours only.
    • Do not burn in the street.
    • Keep all fires at least 20 feet from buildings and a safe distance from other combustible items.
    • Always attend and control the fire…have a hose or water source nearby.
    • Make sure your fire is completely out by sunset.
    • City Ordinance prohibits burning on the following holidays: New Year's Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
    • With your help and cooperation, we can all breathe a little easier this Fall season.

    Lawn Irrigation System Requirements

    Lawn irrigation systems pose a risk of backflow or back siphonage of contamination into the City’s public water supply. Accordingly, the Illinois Plumbing Code and the City’s Cross-Connection Control Ordinance require that all lawn irrigation systems be equipped with a reduced pressure principal backflow preventer (RPZ). In addition, the RPZ device must be inspected and tested annually to ensure that it functions properly.

    If you have not had your backflow preventer inspected in the last 12 months, you need to make arrangements to do so and submit a copy of the inspection report to our office. For your convenience, a list of licensed Cross-Connection Control Device Inspectors has been provided. If you are uncertain as to whether you have an RPZ device installed on your lawn irrigation system, please contact Cara at Washington City Hall at 444-1121 or

    Please note that the installation, inspection and/or testing of RPZ’s must be performed by a plumber who is licensed by the State of Illinois to perform this work.

    Getting Ready to Start a Building Project

    If you're looking to start a new building project, be sure to click here for information regarding obtaining a building permit.

    Electronic Waste Ban - Effective January 1, 2012

    Beginning January 1, 2012, the following items are banned from landfill disposal in the State of Illinois (P.A. 97-0287):

    Computers (CPU's) Laptop Computers Notebook Computers Computer Monitors
    Computer Mouse Computer Keyboards Computer Cables Mobile Phones
    Televisions Printers Fax Machines MP3 Players
    PDA's Video Game Consoles Zip Drives Scanners

    If any of these items are set out with your regular garbage collection, they will be tagged and not collected. This includes both residential and business/commercial customers.

    Click Here for information on where electronic items can be taken for recycling.

    Recycling Schedules

    2017 Recycling Schedule from Waste Management
    If you live North of Route 8 and Business Route 24 - Schedule A
    If you live South of Route 8 and Business Route 24 - Schedule B

    New Watch Speed Locations

    With the increasing flow of traffic that we are experiencing due to our continued growth we continue to receive multiple calls regarding speeding at different locations within the city. In an effort to slow traffic in these areas we have designated ‘watch speed enforcement locations’ and will be monitoring these areas in order to gain speed compliance.

    Below are locations that have been identified as problem areas based on the number of calls we receive. If you are experiencing problems with speeding autos in your area please let us know and we can add them to this list. We would also like to hear how this monitoring system is affecting your area. Please contact us at 309.444.2313 or click here to be directed to a contact form.

    Washington Police Department Watch Speed Enforcement Locations

    1. Kingsbury Road – between Dallas Road & N. Cummings Lane
    2. Dallas Road – between Newcastle Road & the bridge
    3. Kern Road – between Wilmor Road & S. Cummings Lane
    4. Main Street – north from R.R. tracks to Easy Street
    5. Main Street – south from the Square to Guth Road
    6. Cummings Lane – south from Business Route 24 to City Limits
    7. Cummings Lane – north from Business Route 24 to W. Cruger Road
    8. Cummings Lane – north from Route 24 Bypass to Oak Ridge Park
    9. Santa Fe – between Oak Ridge & Nofsinger Road
    10. Jadens Way – between Nofsinger Road & N. Cummings Lane
    11. Cruger Road – between N. Cummings Lane & N. Main Street
    12. School Street – between Route 8 & Centennial Drive
    13. Devonshire Road – between N. Main Street & W. Cruger Road
    14. Westminster Drive – between Hampton Road & Dallas Road
    15. Lexington Drive – between School Street & Summit Drive

    2016 Annual Water Quality Report

    For information on the 2016 Annual Water Quality Report, click here.

    Storm Debris Pickup Information

    On occasion, the City offers a special city-wide tree debris pick-up service following particularly severe storms that cause extensive and widespread damages to trees on private property. The ice storm this past winter was such an example. The city does not, however, routinely offer this service after each and every storm.

    Following severe thunderstorms, city personnel assess the extent of the damage to trees throughout the city and make a determination as to whether the damages are wide-spread and extensive enough to warrant a special city-wide pick-up service. If the damages are assessed to be only moderate, the emergency clean-up is not authorized.

    In any event, the city does routinely clear tree debris from streets, alleyways, sidewalks and public rights-of-way. To obtain information regarding whether the city will be offering the emergency tree debris service following severe weather, call City Hall at 309.444.1111.

    Yardwaste collection and disposal services are routinely available on a fee basis from Waste Management as a part of its solid waste contract with the city. Waste Management can be reached at 1-800-796-9696. The city also conducts a curb-side brush and branch collection service in the spring (usually April or May) and fall (usually October or November) of each year. Watch the local news media for exact pickup dates.

    Washington Chamber of Commerce Events

    For information on the Washington Chamber of Commerce and Chamber Events, click here.
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