Thanks for your email. I am sorry you are so frustrated about what to do with reusable/recyclable items. I have had similar questions a few times over the past 10 years. The City of Urbana keeps a listing in a brochure of things that can be recycled on their website at www.city.urbana.il.us. Click on Quick links in the upper left hand corner and click on recycling. The brochure is available to print off, and was updated in May, 2008. It covers a lot of your questions for both Champaign and Urbana.
The Champaign City website is www.city.urbana.il.us. You can click on the Public Works department under Quick Links. It explains some about the history of the landfill. Or read about it at: Annual Landfill Capacity Report (IL EPA) http://www.epa.state.il.us/land/landfill-capacity/index.html
Champaign County data is found in the report under Region Four: East Central Illinois. There is no active landfill in Champaign County - all our waste is transported elsewhere.
A place to recycle cardboard boxes is located behind Home Depot in Champaign. It is open 24/7. I take things there all the time.
I have lived in this area all my life and have never experienced NOT paying city taxes and paying for garbage pick-up! That's interesting!
Again, I am sorry for your frustration, but I hope this helps some! This really is a nice area of the country to live in, and people can be very friendly. But I have heard that it is hard for people who have not lived here to figure out where everything is and how things are done. Many of the people here are 4 and 5 generations, and take the information they know for granted. I don't think they/we purposely mean not to meet the needs of those who have never been here. I do find the city websites to be helpful. If I can answer any more questions, please contact me again.