What began as an idea five years ago to help the environment could become a reality next year if the Village Board of Trustees approves a resolution at its Jan. 21 to grant Lakeshore Recycling Systems Deerfield’s commercial waste hauling business.
“I first remember this being discussed at a committee of the whole meeting in 2009,” Mayor Harriet Rosenthal said at Monday’s Board meeting. “This has been a long time coming. We have done our due diligence and are keeping our promise to our residents to care for the environment.”
That due diligence has involved working with Deerfield’s business community for nearly two years educating people and getting them comfortable yielding to the Village a right they long had themselves.
There will be some exceptions for businesses which are already committed to long term contracts they cannot break. These will include multistate concerns already committed to commercial haulers in the long term, according to Andrew Lichterman, the assistant to the village manager. Those details will be worked out should the Board approve the pact with Lakeshore.
The process began in earnest just under two years ago when Village officials worked with the Deerfield Bannockburn Riverwoods Chamber of Commerce to familiarize Deerfield’s businesses with the idea.
If the contract is approved, Lakeshore will take the next 15 months working with the businesses, learning their needs and letting them know what the price structure will be. Increases over the five-year period of the contract will be limited to cost of living.
“We’ll be meeting with each customer to determine their needs,” Lakeshore CEO Josh Connell, a 10-year Deerfield resident, said. “We’ll be making a $1 million investment. When you add (this much) you have to make a large investment.”
In addition to their regular trash disposal, each business customer will get a weekly recycling pickup of four cubic yards of material free, according to Lichterman. They will be provided with an appropriate dumpster.
The proposed containers should take care of the needs of 75 percent of the Village’s enterprises for free, according to SWALCO (Solid Waste Agency of Lake County) Executive Director Walter Willis.
The idea is to increase the amount of recyclable waste and reduce what goes to a landfill. Goals have been set. “Fifty percent will be recycled by April 30, 2016, and 75 percent by April 30, 2017,” Lichterman said.
Getting Deerfield’s business community to recycle its reusable waste is only part of the environmental impact. Lakeshore’s investment will include acquiring natural gas powered vehicles to haul the materials so no gasoline will be used.
There are some who anticipate the cost to each business to drop under the arrangement. One of those is Deerfield Sustainability Commission Chairman Matt Wylie.
“Our research on comprehensive programs has shown if they (commercial users) are compelled into a franchise agreement it will result in a savings for the customers,” Wylie said in June, 2012, when the education process started.
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