Thursday, July 19, 2007

BP should not be allowed to increase pollution

Recently, the Chicago Tribune reported that the State of Indiana has approved an expansion of the BP Whiting Refinery that will significantly increase the amount of pollution the company’s operations discharge into Lake Michigan. Without proper environmental controls, BP’s plan and the precedent it sets, jeopardizes all of the efforts of the last 30 years to protect the Great Lakes and keep our region an unparalleled place to live, work and raise a family.

As your Councilman, I understand that local leaders are on the front lines in addressing issues of concern. Each of us should be advocates for the long-term health of the Lake Michigan.

It is not in anyone’s interest to facilitate expansion at the expense of our region’s greatest natural resource and economic engine—the Great Lakes. We are fortunate to have one of the world’s largest sources of fresh water at our doorstep. Other communities in the United States, Canada and around the world are not so lucky.

We must work together to enhance the Great Lakes, protecting them so that future generations can use and enjoy their clean water. Our lakes are one of our most valuable resources, and we should all urge BP and the State of Indiana to take leadership in its protection, rather than its contamination.

SWALCO Household Chemical Waste Drop Off Program Announced

Just got out of our meeting at SWALCO and am excited to announce a perminent drop off site at the SWALCO headquarters for Household Chemical Waste. Until now these events have only been moble one day events. While we will continue to bring moble events(10) to each area of the County, this perminent site will allow more opportunities for our residents to drop off these dangerous chemicals several times a month in Gurnee. Along with providing more opportunites we will be providing this service at a lower price per event.

SWALCO has now expanded their Household Chemical Waste program to include public drop-off days at the Gurnee facility, 1311 N. Estes Street Gurnee, IL 60031.
Public drop-offs will be on an appointment basis only and take place only on the dates specified.

Hours will be from 8am until 12 noon on those dates.
Click the link below for scheduling an appointment online or Call the SWALCO office at 847-336-9340 for directions and any questions.

Schedule an appointment now

Materials ACCEPTED at HCW Collections:

  • Oil-based Paint

  • Solvents

  • Unwanted Prescriptions, Medicines & Supplements

  • Motor Oil

  • Household Cleaners

  • Household Batteries (alkaline and rechargeable)

  • Antifreeze

  • Garden / Lawn Chemicals

  • Pool Chemicals

  • Asbestos

  • Fluorescent Light Bulbs

  • Old Gasoline

  • Fungicides

  • Insecticides

  • Pesticides

  • Metal Polishes

  • Paint Remover

  • Driveway Sealer

  • Drain Cleaner

  • Aerosol Products

  • Hobby Chemicals

  • Mercury (including thermometers and thermostats)

The following materials are NOT ACCEPTED

at HCW Collections:

  • Business / Institutional Wastes

  • Explosives / Ammunition

  • Fire Extinguishers

  • Lead-acid Batteries

  • Tires

  • Latex Paint

  • Agricultural Chemicals

  • Fireworks

  • Propane Tanks

  • Smoke Detectors

  • Medical Wastes

  • Household Electronics

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Rolling Carts for Recyclables

UPDATE- Results of negotiations for recycling carts would have increased costs over double digits so we simply renewed our existing contract for 3 more years with simple increases for inflation. I will look for opportunities in future to still get the carts.... Stay tuned.

Several months ago when we gave our staff direction for waste hauling negotiation with Violia, we asked if we could get rolling recycling carts that have lids on them. After the first round of talks Violia was willing to give us free carts if we changed our pickup location to the street for recyclables only. Regular garbage would still be picked up behind the home.

At the last meeting the Council directed staff to look for a program from Violia that would furnished free 65 gal carts for recycling that could be rolled to the street for free or still could be picked up at the top of drive for a small monthly fee. We have had many recyclables blow all over town and the wheeled carts have lids that will prevent that from occurring. We have also been told by waste haulers and SWALCO that these bins will increase recyclables. By offering a larger more convenient container we think we can get our recycling citizens to put more recyclables in for pick up.

The funny thing is on my block of St. Johns everybody but me already puts their recycling on the street. You see people are so excited about their recyclables that they can’t wait to display them even though it is picked up for free at the top of their drive…….

We also are structuring the pricing to encourage citizens to buy stickers and pay as you go. Currently about half our citizens use the pure volume based sticker system. Sticker purchasing saves citizens money and gives an incentive to reduce waste because you only will pay for the garbage that gets picked up. So when you go on vacation or use two cans or less per week you save money by buying stickers. Once a week subscription costs more than 2 stickers per week. The fee for a twice a week subscription will cost double the price of once a week.

We will be following a strict VOLUME BASED system so less garbage will always means less costs and more garbage will always mean more costs.

Also please note we are in negotiations with the hauler which might turn into putting this whole thing out to bid. We are also having ongoing discussions within the City Council so we have not made any final decisions.

Call me with any thoughts.... 847-456-6933