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New recycling facility plans moving ahead

<p>File Photo</p>

File Photo

Naperville officials are poised to begin spending a state grant that came in earlier this year to help pay for a comprehensive new recycling center.

The City Council will decide Tuesday evening whether to release $75,000 of the funds received from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to contract the Farnsworth Group for design services for the new facility, expected to cost $1,185,000.

In July the city received the $900,000 grant award, intended to help pay for relocating the hazardous waste site that now operates on weekends at the fire station on Brookdale Road east of Route 59, and upgrade the existing drop-off center at the city’s Public Works complex on Fort Hill Drive. The new combined center is slated for completion by April 2015.

“The remaining funds as well as the city’s match of $285,000 will be presented in the (2015 capital improvements program budget) to fund construction of the facility,” Mike Bevis, the city’s chief procurement officer, said in a memo to the council.

The application for the state funds asserted that the new center will enable Naperville to keep up with a growing demand for recycling options and ease the congestion, capacity and scheduling limitations on the existing household hazardous waste collection site. Staff projections envision the center bringing a 15 percent increase in capacity, enabling the program to serve 18,500 residents and accept 299 tons of materials annually.

During 2012, more than 15 tons of traditional recyclable materials and 51,595 gallons and 260 tons of non-traditional items were brought to the city’s existing collection sites. The household hazardous waste drop-off center is one of just four in Illinois.

Functioning as a one-stop collection center, the new facility will accept such traditional recyclables as paper, plastic, glass and cardboard, along with batteries, propane tanks, oil, paint, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, CFL bulbs, traditional fluorescent bulbs and medications.

The new center is part of the city’s effort to build its sustainability programming. The 2012 Naperville Community Survey found a 6 percent dip in respondents’ satisfaction with the city’s recycling. The new center is one way officials are addressing that. This spring they’ll also implement a requirement that residents who take advantage of residential recycling pickup use rolling carts, to be offered in various sizes, rather than the current open bins that hold much less material.

The council will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the council chambers at the Municipal Center, 400 S. Eagle St.

, Naperville.

The program currently calls for everyone’s trash pickup bills to include a $4 monthly surcharge for a year, to help offset the expected $2.3 million expense. However, several council members last week said they would be willing to direct a portion of the expected fiscal 2014 budget surplus toward covering the cost of the carts instead, as added enticement for resident participation.

According to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, the city has done a really good job on the sustainability front.

“Naperville has set the pace and provided a model of how to do it,” Quinn said during a visit to the city to help unveil the plans in late July, noting that environmental initiatives transcend party politics. “Recycling and energy conservation means jobs. Recycling and renewable energy are the hallmarks of the 21st century. Everyone is entitled to a healthy environment and it is the duty of all of us to provide it.”

The council will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the council chambers at the Municipal Center, 400 S. Eagle St., Naperville.

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