Most of North Cook County's garbage ends up at the Winnebago landfill in Rockford - via trucks from the Glenview Transfer Station. Image from Laurie Morse.

Most of North Cook County’s garbage ends up at the Winnebago landfill in Rockford – via trucks from the Glenview Transfer Station. Image from Laurie Morse.



Longing for more recycling – especially at local businesses, multi-family buildings and construction/demolition sites?  food waste collection for composting?  plastic bag bans?  permanent household hazardous waste collection sites?  generally less waste heading to the landfill? and also live in Northern Cook County?


If so, please review the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County (SWANCC) draft 2014 Solid Waste Management Plan and send along your comments.   I recently heard the head of Lake County’s Solid Waste Agency (SWALCO), Walter Willis, speak about their progressive waste reduction plans. In light of that, I would hope that SWANCC would consider amending our their draft plan to include:


  • Adopt a 60% regional residential diversion goal and create a framework to measure and report individual community progress toward that goal.
  • Promote exclusive commercial collection franchising efforts to help boost commercial recycling levels, such as Evanston & Wilmette
  • Make household hazardous waste collection a high priority in this Plan.
  • Develop and promote volume-based rates or pay-per-bag pricing strategies for use by member communities.  These strategies encourage waste reduction and recycling, create pricing fairness, and are widely used in other counties.
  • Partner with member communities to create ordinances requiring diversion of construction and demolition debris from landfills.  The Agency should support building materials reuse, and partner with private and non-profit organizations that specialize in deconstruction and re-sale of building components.
  • Continue to collaborate with partners to develop a weekly collection program for residential and commercial organics.  Partner with the private sector to deliver organics to windrow composting farms in Lake County, so food scrap compost is returned to agricultural uses.
  • Create citizen advisory committees to the SWANCC Executive Committee that include resident citizen stakeholders.
  • Review the Agency’s business plan regularly to ensure it is compatible with robust waste diversion efforts.
  • Study the costs single-use plastic bags impose on member communities’ water infrastructure and the waste industry’s materials recycling sorting processes, and evaluate the cost-savings that might be derived from a national ban on single-use plastic bags.


Please e-mail your comments to – the deadline is Friday, March 28.