Lakeshore Systems Brings Cutting-Edge Recycling To Kane County

Lakeshore Systems Brings Cutting-Edge Recycling To Kane County

  • Editor’s Note: This recycling article was co-written by Kane County Recycling Coordinator Jennifer Jarland. Got a question or idea for a recycling tip? Contact Jarland at 630-208-3841 or

Lakeshore Recycling Systems arrived on the scene in Kane County last year with a flourish, winning contracts for service with the cities of Geneva and St. Charles and the village of Elburn.

(CREDIT: Lakeshore Recycling Systems)

It also holds contracts with Sugar Grove and Montgomery, and Virgil and Plato townships, which it inherited through the purchase of a small local hauler, DC Trash, in 2017, and provide services to thousands of businesses in Kane County every day.

Katie Neary, municipal manager at LRS, says the company aims to “recycle first and landfill last.”

“The root of our overall success is our commitment to our customers through sustainable and customized service programs as well as a very high level of customer service,” she said. “The current recycle market is evidence of why this commitment has long term value for not only LRS but for our partners and customers.”

I recently went for tours of the Lakeshore Recycling Systems Heartland Recycling Center, a material recovery facility in Chicago, and the California MRF, where Lakeshore has its new digester.

These visits inspired to write this article to highlight some of their cutting-edge efforts to improve recycling and increase food scrap composting. See the photo story below for a virtual tour of the Lakeshore facilities.

Residents of Geneva, St. Charles and Elburn can call 630-581-8650 for service questions. Residents of Sugar Grove, Montgomery, and Virgil and Plato Townships can call 815-758-7274.

Helping Residents Recycle Right

You may have read my past articles about the quality restrictions that China placed on imports of U.S. recyclable material (aka the Chinese National Sword legislation), and how I have been working with a stakeholder group, the Illinois Task Force for Recycling Contamination, on an educational solution to the issue.

This task force released a statewide recycling guidelines earlier this month.

Please see the Kane County version of the recycling guidelines. These are simplified to make it easier for consumers to understand.

If you want more detail, I encourage you to study the in-depth guidelines on the website.

Technology – Sorting Out The Recycling

It is very important for residents to recycle right, but technological advances are another key piece of the solution when it comes to improving the quality of our recyclable materials.

Lakeshore Recycling is leading the way on that front, with the installation of a Machinex SamurAITM, a robot (AI = Artificial Intelligence) that efficiently sorts items quickly and accurately.

SamurAI has a multi-directional arm with a suction cup claw that picks items up and moves them efficiently from the conveyor belt to the separate chutes where they are held before being baled for shipping.

The really cool thing about this machine is that it “learns the stream” and improves, getting more accurate and faster over time to capture and accurately sort more materials!

Technology – Digester Turns Food Scrap into Compost

LRS has several facilities in the Chicago region that process single stream recycling, construction and demolition debris, and food scraps.

(CREDIT: LRS website)

The California MRF includes a new aerobic digester for the processing of organic waste and food scraps. The digester is an in-vessel style system that uses biological fermentation to break down the organic matter, turning it into a viable and nutrient-rich compost product.

Read more here.

I recently toured this facility with the Illinois Food Scrap Coalition, (that’s me in the above photo, in the middle with the red chucks), and was so excited to see this clean efficient digester processing large volumes of organic waste right in the city!

Call For Article Submissions

Local haulers are welcome to submit articles on services provided to the residents of Kane County. Please contact Jennifer Jarland at or 630-208-3841.

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