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Grayslake supports new SWALCO recycling goals

in Lake

Lake County in 1989 became the first county in the state to establish a solid waste management plan under the Illinois Solid Waste Planning and Recycling Act.

SWALCO was formed in 1991 to implement the county’s waste management program, and 41 communities (including Naval Station Great Lakes) are now participating in the program.

Updated: March 6, 2012 1:44AM

Grayslake trustees have expressed support for an ambitious Recycling Task Force program designed to boost residential, commercial and construction recycling efforts throughout Lake County.

Grayslake is one of the first municipalities that has reviewed and commented upon the 36 recommendations the task force has made for improving community recycling efforts. The study was recently released by a 27-member committee sponsored by both the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County and the Lake County Board.

Lake County Board member Pat Carey of Grayslake provided background on the Task Force, and urged support for the report’s comprehensive findings at Tuesday night’s Village Board meeting. She said the county will be holding committee meetings on the report later this month.

She said approval of the task force’s findings does not bind the village to any particular future recycling actions, it just offers a suggested pathway for improving village recycling efforts.

“However, I encourage the village to commit itself towards achieving the 60 percent recycling goals as outlined for 2015 and 2020,” she said.

The goals of the task force are to reduce waste to 4.12 pounds per person per day by 2015 and down to 3.48 pounds per day per capita by 2020.

This would reduce the total rate of disposable waste in the county to 40 percent, with 60 percent of the waste being recyclable. In 2010, the task force indicated that the average pounds per day of waste disposed by each resident in Lake County was 4.8 pounds.

Single-family residential recycling efforts are only one aspect of the long-range plan. Separate recycling goals are planned for commercial enterprises, and those in construction and demolition debris.

Trustees decided to draft an ordinance that would require all licensed waste haulers that provide garbage pickup from multi-family units such as apartments and condominiums to provide recycling services as well. Waste haulers would be required to provide recyclable pickup reports to both the village and SWALCO.

The plan suggests two years lead time be provided for building owners to provide exterior recyclable storage facilities that are in close proximity to the building’s usual waste disposal area. In discussion, trustees were amenable to providing owners with some grant funds through their façade program to facilitate this purpose.

The Village Board also decided to create a program that would upgrade the current 60-gallon recycling carts to 96-gallon carts. Currently, the program just allows upgrades for garbage cans. Waste Management, the village’s recycler, has expressed cooperation, providing the village change its fall leaf vacuuming policies to place leaves only seven feet from the curb rather than 15 feet in order to improve pickup/vacuum efficiency.

Mayor Rhett Taylor said, ”I hope that as residents utilize the larger recycling bins they will recycle more and dispose of less.”

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