County Solid Waste Plan Shows Area Landfills Have About 11 Years Left
There are some darned interesting facts, figures and projections in the Kane County Solid Waste Plan Update that’s available for public consumption and commentary from now until April 25.
- By the year 2040, the county is projected to be home to 802,231 people, a 54 percent increase.
- Kane County does not have an active landfill; therefore all of the solid waste that is landfilled leaves the county.
- As it applies to Kane County, regional landfill capacity is at 11 years average remaining capacity.
- Kane County has a current overall recycling rate of approximately 38 percent, which exceeds the state recycling standard of 25 percent.
- But the diversion rate has plateaued over recent years.
- Two big alternative technologies are being explored: waste-to-energy or waste-to-fuel.
- Public education is critical to the continued success of recycling programs.
- The plan update makes 20 recommendations. To find out what they are …
Read the Draft — 45-Day Comment Period
The Kane County Division of Environmental and Water Resources has issued a draft of the 2015 Kane County Solid Waste Plan Update for public review. The 45-day public comment period will run from March 11 to April 25, 2015.
The 2015 update draft can be found online at this page on the Kane County Recycles website, and a hard copy will be on public display during normal county business hours in the Environmental Resources office on the ground floor of Building A at the Kane County Government Center, 719 S Batavia Ave., Geneva, IL 60134.
- Comments may be submitted via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Comments may be submitted via postal mail to: Attn: Jennifer Jarland, Environmental and Water Resources, Kane County Government Center, 719 S. Batavia Ave., Bldg. A, Geneva, IL 60134
- Comments may be made in person at: Energy and Environment Committee Meeting in the County Board Room at the address above on April 15, 2015; meeting runs from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Questions may be directed to Jennifer Jarland, Kane County recycling coordinator, at email@example.com, or 630-208-3841.
“Please read the update online if possible. If you print the plan, please use double-sided printing and recycled-content paper,” Kane County Recycling Coordinator Jennifer Jarland said.
Solid Waste Plan Timeline
- March 11 — Public comment period opens (45 days)
- April 15 — Public comments welcome
- April 25 — Close public comment period
- April 30 — Final draft (with comments incorporated)
- May 13 — Energy and Environmental Committee
- June 3 — Executive Committee
- June 9 — County Board
- June 10 — Submit to IEPA
Solid Waste Plan Executive Summary
All Illinois counties are required by state law to plan for the management of solid waste generated within the county. Kane County adopted its first Solid Waste Plan in 1992 and has since adopted the required updates in 1997, 2004, and 2009. Kane County’s many accomplishments related to the 2009 plan recommendations are recorded in this plan for review.
The county’s population has grown from 317,471 in 1990 to 521,561 in 2012. By the year 2040, the county is projected to be home to 802,231 people, a 54 percent increase. The impact of this population growth will be significant on the county’s resource management infrastructure because it will continue to increase the demand for managing the solid waste, and recyclable or compostable materials generated within the county.
Kane County does not have an active landfill; therefore all of the solid waste that is landfilled leaves the county. The farther that solid waste must travel, the greater the economic cost and environmental impact.
As it applies to Kane County, regional landfill capacity is at 11 years average remaining capacity, and two of the six landfills used have less than 10 years remaining. This is relevant to the County in that, as one facility reaches capacity, other facilities will see an increase in waste intake and therefore a reduction in life.
Kane County has three permitted transfer stations and several reuse oriented businesses within its boundaries, and in surrounding counties it utilizes a number of municipal solid waste transfer stations, landscape waste transfer stations, construction and demolition waste processing facilities, and recycling facilities. Additionally there are countless opportunities for recycling and reuse through drop-off and collection programs provided by the county, municipalities, townships, agencies, organizations, and private businesses.
The residents of Kane County have historically been and continue to be very interested in solid waste management and recycling. Kane County has a current overall recycling rate of approximately 38 percent, which exceeds the state recycling standard of 25 percent. The overall recycling rate is a combination of traditional curbside residential, commercial, and construction and demolition debris recycling rates. Annual tonnage data is collected from the licensed waste and recycling haulers in order to calculate and track diversion rates.
The diversion rate has plateaued over recent years and methods need to be employed to increase recycling both residentially and commercially.
To address recycling opportunities for residents of unincorporated areas and multifamily dwellings, the Kane County Board adopted a mandatory recycling ordinance in 1994, and amended it to include commercial businesses in 1995. This ordinance requires that licensed haulers must provide service for the collection of recyclables from all single-family and multidwelling residences and commercial businesses to which the provide trash service. The ordinance also provides for annual reporting of tonnages of residential, commercial, and construction and demolition sources of recycling and waste. This ordinance has been difficult to enforce but recent state legislation, requiring haulers to provide recycling to all accounts to which they provide trash service, will make it easier to promote and enforce.
Recycling and reuse programs have evolved substantially in the last five (5) years, necessitating that this 2015 Update include discussions on several nontraditional (noncurbside) materials now commonly collected for recycling or reuse via drop-off or collection events. Further it seeks to introduce current trends and best practices for topics such as waste minimization, food-scrap diversion, and alternative technologies.
As the solid waste topography shifts and landfill space dwindles, the definitions and priorities around waste management evolve. On the industry level, the meaning of the term “waste management” has come to refer to a broader effort that includes resource recovery and sustainable materials management. Residents are more concerned with minimizing waste and reusing resources than ever before.
Another important trend in this regard is Product Stewardship, which promotes manufacturer “take-back” programs for end-of-life recycling of products.One of the hottest topics presently in the resource management field is food-scrap recovery.
Food scrap constitutes a significant percentage of waste sent to landfills in Illinois, and is therefore an important focus of many waste management and resource recovery program managers. There are great advances being made in the state by the Illinois Food Scrap Coalition and a broad base of stakeholders that includes generators, haulers, processors, and landscape professionals. This is a developing industry and the next five years are sure to show much evolution.
Alternative technologies include disposal methods that reduce the volume of waste disposed in landfills such as those that convert waste-to-energy or waste-to-fuel. To the extent that alternative disposal technologies are demonstrated to be viable in the future, these technologies do not displace recycling or reuse and should be considered as one part of a comprehensive solution. It is recommended that Kane County monitor and assess developments in alternative technologies during the years covered by this plan to ensure that opportunities are not missed.
Public education is critical to the continued success of recycling programs, especially in areas such as Kane County which are experiencing high rates of population growth and turnover in existing homes. Important educational messages include reminders of what materials can (and cannot) be recycled in the household recycling bin and at various drop-off locations, the benefits of recycling, and results of current recycling programs.
This plan update makes 20 recommendations in the following categories: Waste Minimization, Recycling, Ordinance Enforcement, Organics, Textiles, Construction and Demolition, Electronics, Household Hazardous Waste, Infrastructure, and Alternative Technologies, and Public Information and Education.