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Village Services FAQ

Public Works Questions

Questions & Answers

What are the Village's refuse collection policies?

The Village will empty two 37-gallon garbage cans of trash from each single-family household once per week at the back door if available and accessible by 7:00 a.m. All receptacles shall not weigh more than 20-lbs. empty, and not more than 60-lbs. when full. On collection days, garbage cans are to be located in an accessible place outside of garages or other secured enclosures. A Village refuse sticker is required to be adhered to each additional 37-gallon can or bag. Refuse and yard waste stickers may be purchased at Village Hall (510 Green Bay Road), Grand Foods (606 Green Bay Road), and Lakeside Foods (800 Elm) for $2.20 each.  Recycling containers may be purchased at Village Hall for $67 each.

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What should I do if my refuse, recycling or yard waste was not picked-up on the scheduled day?

Contact the Public Works Department at 847-716-3568 to report a missed collection. If you get a recording, please be sure to leave your name and address, as well as a phone number where you can be reached.

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How do I get replacement refuse cans or recycling containers?

The Village will empty two garbage cans no larger than 37-gallons back-door once a week. Cans can be purchased at home improvements stores and the Village prefers them to be galvanized. Residents can purchase as many recycling containers as need at the Village Hall and Public Works will deliver them to the home. Call Public Works at 847-716-3568 for more information.

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Where can I purchase refuse stickers?

Stickers are available for sale at Village Hall (510 Green Bay Road), Grand Foods (606 Green Bay Road), and Lakeside Foods (800 Elm Street) for $2.20 each. 

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Will the Village perform special refuse pick-ups?

For large objects or quantities not practical for regular refuse pickup, a special pickup may be requested. Special pickups are billed by volume and must consist of general household items that are small and light enough to be handled by two persons without danger of injury. You will be charged $30 for the first cubic yard and $11 for each additional cubic yard. (A cubic yard is 3 feet by 3 feet by 3 feet.) Major appliances and large heavy furnishings may also be collected, but a special handling charge will be assessed to cover costs and disposal. Call 847-716-3568, two to three working days before the desired collection date to schedule a special pickup, or email: ebraun@winnetka.org.

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How is yard waste collected (lawn clippings, brush, branches, etc.) collected?

Illinois law prohibits disposing of yard waste with regular household refuse. Yard waste (lawn clippings, brush, branches, etc.) will be picked up at the curb; however, additional collection procedures and charges apply to this type of refuse. Bags with a Village refuse sticker affixed must be used for clippings and other similar landscaping refuse.

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What do I need to know about recycling in the Village?

Recyclables will be picked up at the curb the same day that refuse is collected. Recycling containers are available for purchase at Village Hall, 510 Green Bay Road. Please do not place recycling containers at the curb until dusk the evening prior to your collection day. However, all containers must be out and ready for collection by 7:00AM on the scheduled pickup day. Residents are not charged for recyclables. Recyclables may be commingled in one cart. Paper products should not be bundled or tied. Containers should be rinsed. Recycling is provided free of charge to any Winnetka business that uses the Village’s refuse services.

For more information on recycling in Winnetka, please visit the Public Works Department’s Refuse and Recycling Page.

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How do I dispose of construction debris?

Waste resulting from work done by contractors will not be picked up by the Village. Contractors must make their own arrangements for its removal.

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How do I dispose of paint and paint cans?

Oil based paint, stains, or finishes are considered a household chemical waste and are properly disposed via household chemical waste collections sponsored by SWANCC and the IEPA and available to all Illinois residents. Latex paint is non-toxic and will not be accepted at Household Chemical Waste collections. Let the paint dry out completely. After the paint has dried, dispose of it in your regular trash with the lid off so the waste hauler knows the can is empty.

A paint can which previously contained oil-based or latex based paint may be disposed of in the regular trash. If the paint can is of an acceptable recyclable material such as steel, tin, or a plastic container stamped recyclable 1 - 5, the can may be recycled in the community’s recycling program.

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How do I dispose of residential electronics?

Residential electronics may not be disposed through the backdoor residential waste program. To schedule curbside electronics pickup for a fee, contact Public Works at 847-716-3568.  Residents may also take advantage of the Village's seasonal electronic disposal program free of charge.  Residential electronics may be dropped at the Winnetka Public Works Yards, 1390 Willow, on Thursdays between 1:00 – 3:00 PM. Residents may also drop off electronic waste at the SWANCC Transfer Station, 1151 North River Road in Glenview, most Saturdays from 9:00 -11:00 AM.

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How do I dispose of household hazardous waste?

Fuels, oil-based paints, insecticides, etc. cannot be placed in your trash cans and will not be picked up. The Illinois EPA and other agencies sponsor occasional special household hazardous waste pickups. These pickups are advertised in the Winnetka Report and the Village newsletter. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency - Household Chemical Waste web page includes information concerning collections and a complete schedule of upcoming collection events.

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How should I dispose of my holiday lights?

Year round, all types of holiday string-type lights will be accepted at the drop-off location at Public Works, 1390 Willow Road during regular business hours. Accepted for recycling will be: Mini-lights (or Italian lights), C7 lights, C9 lights, rope lights, LED lights, extension cords, etc. All colors and lengths will be accepted. The Village cannot accept garland, live greens, wreathes, or other non-recyclables.

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Does the Village perform Christmas tree pick-up?

Christmas trees will be picked up from the curbside for shredding, chipping, and composting annually on the first through the third week in January. After the third Wednesday, a $2.20 refuse sticker will be required to ensure pickup.

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Does the Village offer compost?

When available, compost can be picked up at no charge at the Winnetka Public Works Yards, 1390 Willow Road, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Bring your own shovel and container.

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What are the Village's digging policies?

Call JULIE (Joint Utility Location Information for Excavators) at least 48 hours prior to undertaking any digging activity on your property or the public parkway. JULIE provides a toll-free number (811) through which underground utilities in the vicinity of digging activity can be located.

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What do I do if I have sewer problems?

Before contacting a plumber about a backup, call the Village Public Works Department at 847-716-3568 to determine if the problem is the responsibility of the Village or the homeowner. If the problem occurs after-hours, call 847-501-2531.

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Where should I report drainage complaints?

Drainage problems and concerns can be discussed with the Public Works Department. Village field inspectors may recommend corrective work; however, the responsibility for solving private drainage problems normally rests with the homeowner. Questions should be directed to 847-716-3530, or email: mvakil@winnetka.org.

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Do I need a permit to have work performed on a drainage swale?

Residential drainage swales cannot be altered without first obtaining the required permits from the Public Works Department. Call 847-716-3530, or email: mvakil@winnetka.org.

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How should Village parkways be maintained?

Property owners are responsible for routine maintenance of the public parkways (generally the area between the curb and the sidewalk) adjacent to their properties. This includes mowing, trimming weeds, etc. In addition, tree limbs and bushes on or adjacent to parkway areas should be kept trimmed so that they do not block visibility or encroach upon sidewalks. It is illegal to attach address signs, ropes, swings, wire, hanging baskets, flags, signs, bird houses, outdoor lighting or any other device to parkway trees. Also, the Village requires that a permit be obtained in order to plant material other than grass and Village-approved tree species within parkway areas. For more information call 847-716-3535, or email: jstier@winnetka.org.

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When are sidewalks replaced and what if there are trip hazards?

The Village makes annual repairs to its sidewalks at no cost to the abutting property owner. Sidewalk safety hazards should be reported to the Public Works Department at 847-716-3530, email: mvakil@winnetka.org.

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Who do I call to report a pothole?

Call the Public Works Department at 847-716-3568 and leave a message. Please be sure to give the street address nearest to the pothole location. The Department will add it to the list of scheduled patches.

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Is tree planting permitted on the parkway?

The Village of Winnetka plants 2 1/2-inch-trunk-diameter trees on parkways at no cost to residents. Also offered is a "share the cost" arrangement for planting larger trees on parkways. For tree species descriptions and availability call 847-716-3535, or email: jstier@winnetka.org.

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Do I need a permit to remove a tree on private property?

The Village of Winnetka requires a removal permit for any private property tree measuring 8 inches or more in trunk diameter (measured at 4.5 feet from ground level). Removal applications are available at Village Hall, 510 Green Bay, or the Public Works Yards, 1390 Willow. To obtain a tree removal permit, click here. The Village will determine if tree replacement is required by inspecting each requested removal. For more information, call 847-716-3535, or email: jstier@winnetka.org.

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What are the Village's regulations related to grass and weeds?

All grass and weeds must be mowed by property owners or those responsible for property maintenance before the growth reaches 8 inches. Contact the Public Works Department at 847-716-3568, for more information, or email: ebraun@winnetka.org.

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Who should I contact with questions about traffic?

If you have a question about traffic flow, signage, traffic signals or related issues call 847-716-3532, or email: schen@winnetka.org.

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Who do I call for a mosquito problem?

You should call the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District at 847-446-9434.

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When does the Village’s Annual Leaf Collection begin?

The Village's annual leaf collection normally begins in October and runs through November.

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How often are the pick-ups for the Annual Leaf Collection?

The time needed for the Public Works staff to complete one round of leaf pick-up varies; however, the Village aims to complete 6 to 8 rounds during the length of the program.

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What happens if I forget to place my leaves on the parkway and the Public Works Crews have already passed?

Due to the high demand for leaf collection and the limited time to collect the leaves, the Public Works Department will not be accepting any callbacks. Residents can keep the leaves in the parkway until Public Works Crews return, but once the program has ended, leaves must be placed in yardwaste bags, which may be purchased at Village Hall, Grand Foods or Lakeside Foods for $2.20.

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How is the Snow Plow and Ice Control Plan Implemented?

Plowing activities begin with snow accumulations of about 2 inches on sidewalks and streets. Main roads (Hibbard Road, Green Bay Road, etc.) receive first priority, followed by minor streets/sidewalks, and finally, cul-de-sacs and alleys.

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Can you send a snowplow back to clear the end of a driveway?

There are approximately 4,000 driveways in the Village. Unfortunately, we are not able to compromise our priority on public safety by devoting resources to clearing driveways.

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What is Spring Cleanup?

The Annual Spring Cleanup Program is a free service to residents provided by the Public Works Department-- allowing residents to clean out their attics, basements, garages, etc. of unwanted items, usually occurring in late April each year.

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What items are not collected as part of the Spring Cleanup program?

Do not place the following items out for collection:

  • electronics
  • tires
  • yard waste, dirt, stones and logs
  • construction material
  • paint, paint thinner or stains
  • chemicals, gasoline, oil, pesticides or herbicides
  • propane tanks
  • other liquids or hazardous materials

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What if I place my Spring Cleanup at the curb after the crews have passed?

Due to a high demand and limited time the Public Works Department will not respond to callbacks. Residents can call the Public Works Department at 847-716-3568 to request a special pick up.

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How do I dispose of Styrofoam, small hand-held electronics, athletic shoes, thermometers, and CFL (compact florescent light) bulbs?

The Village provides a recycling drop-off service - for block styrofoam and clean food service containers ONLY -  and for holiday lights and cords, at the Municipal Yards Building, located at 1390 Willow Road, for all of these items, during regular business hours.

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