When a populous suburban county has no property available for a second waste transfer station

DuPage County has only one waste transfer station and residents of one its suburbs do not want a second one in their community:

Photo by Tom Fisk on Pexels.com

The idea has outraged many residents who believe the city is being unfairly targeted as the “garbage capital” of the Western suburbs. Citing a threat to their home values and quality of life, they say a second waste transfer station should be built elsewhere in the county or not at all because of a lack of need.

In comparison, there are more than 20 transfer stations spread throughout Cook County.

Representatives from LRS insist a second DuPage County facility — one that is state-of-the-art and environmentally sound — is necessary to maintain healthy competition with other major waste companies. Another transfer station, officials say, would reduce garbage bills for residents and bring hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees from LRS to West Chicago coffers…

West Chicago residents say they’ve already done their part with one facility in their city, and a second DuPage County station should be built elsewhere. LRS officials, however, say they’ve looked elsewhere and couldn’t find another parcel that meets zoning and setback regulations.

This is a common issue in metropolitan regions: there are certain land uses that relatively few people want to live near. Since individual communities can set their zoning guidelines and communities with money and influence can fight particular land uses, it can be difficult to find a home for these land uses.

One solution? Push the garbage transfer station outside of DuPage County to another community that might want it or will not fight it.

Another solution (unlikely in the short-term but perhaps doable in the long-run): the need for more metropolitan level planning. With all of the people and business in the Chicago region, how can garbage be dealt with on a regional level?

A third and unlikely solution: significantly reduce the amount of waste produced by residents so fewer waste transfer stations are needed.

If West Chicago residents band together enough, they can likely convince local officials to turn down this proposed waste transfer station. Where exactly the garbage will go is unclear but West Chicago residents could be happy that it will not take place in their community. However, it is going to happen somewhere…to be determined.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s