The Solid Waste Agency of Lake County (SWALCO) is encouraging communities like Grayslake to join them in increasing the county’s recycling rate from 38 percent to 60 percent by 2020.
The SWALCO Board of Directors recently approved a task force advisory report outlining recycling targets and recommended programs and service options designed to increase recycling rates over the coming years.
Municipalities that approve the SWALCO report are not required to commit to its recommendations, but they will be encouraged to consider them in an effort to increase recycling.
“It’s a comprehensive and reasonable plan. I urge you to take it into consideration,” said Lake County Board Commissioner Pat Carey, at the Jan. 3 Grayslake village board meeting.
Carey, a former Grayslake mayor who also serves on SWALCO’s Board of Directors, praised the village for long being at the forefront of recycling efforts, including opening Lake County’s first drop-off recycling centers followed by an early curbside program.
“We are near the ultimate goal of 60 percent already,” said village trustee Bruce Bassett, noting that Grayslake is No. 2 in the county for recycling per person, based on pounds per capita, per day.
“It can be done,” said Bassett of ambitious recycling goals, and “we’re demonstrating how it can be done.”
At its Jan. 3 committee-of-the-whole meeting, discussed the merits of adopting two SWALCO report recommendations, including having recycling programs at multi-family apartment complexes and offering residents larger recycling bins at no increased cost.
The draft ordinance regarding multi-family recycling requirements would require all licensed waste haulers who provide garbage service to multi-family units to also provide recycling. Waste haulers would also be required to report the amount of recyclables to the village and SWALCO.
Building owners would be required to provide exterior recyclable storage close to a building’s regular solid waste disposal area.
If approved, the ordinance would not go into effect until two years after adoption to allow haulers and building owners time to make appropriate changes.
Trustee Ron Jarvis said the village needs to be proactive and reach out to the owners of multi-family buildings. He also suggested the village offer a one-time grant to aid building owners in making necessary structural changes to comply with the ordinance.
“This is an opportunity for outreach and education here,” agreed trustee Shawn Vogel.
Trustees also reviewed a new village program that would allow residents to upgrade, at no cost to them or the village, from a 60-gallon recycling cart to a 95-gallon cart.
“People are looking to downsize their waste can and this can facilitate that,” said Village Manager Mike Ellis, who also serves on SWALCO’s Board of Directors.
Mayor Rhett Taylor confirmed the village has received requests from residents to upgrade to larger recycling bins, though it will remain optional if approved.
The upgrade would be offered annually by Waste Management. In return, Waste Management has requested the village modify its annual leaf vacuuming program by authorizing residents to place leaves 7-feet from the curb rather than 15-feet to improve efficiency. This should be no problem, said Taylor, because most residents already place leaves at or very near the curb.
The village board is expected to approve SWALCO’s recycling report along with the ordinance for multi-family recycling requirements and cart upgrades at a future meeting.
In other village board news, trustees:
- Awarded a bid to Tonyan & Sons for the installation of a stand-by power generator at the reservoir at a cost not to exceed $397,000. The village received three bids. Taylor said the purchase will prevent the water supply from being affected during a widespread power outage, like the great outage ComEd experienced last summer.
- Waived the formal bid process and authorized the village manager to purchase a sewer camera from Insight Vision at a cost not to exceed $24,550. Insight Vision is the only provider of this camera. By waiving the bid process, the village can purchase the camera at a cost below that of the public bid process.