Promote a Sustainable Environment
Preserve the health of our natural resources and our drinking water through the widespread use of sustainable and environmental management practices, effective storm water management and the enhancement and rehabilitation of lakes, wetlands and other fragile ecological systems.
In December 2014, SWALCO announced that it would have to suspend its free electronics recycling program while exploring funding options, due to an inability to secure no-cost contracts with electronics recyclers. However, SWALCO recently confirmed that six sites can begin collecting electronics through its recycling program as of January 2, 2015. SWALCO’s website contains a list of the sites and drop off times.
Best Management Practices Workshops
The Stormwater Management Commission presented and discussed green infrastructure and stormwater best management practices at 14 watershed planning, council and other group meetings made up of various stakeholders representing federal, state, municipal, township and county governments, private businesses, park and school districts, as well as homeowner and non-profit organizations.
Regional Framework Plan
In October 2014, the Lake County Board adopted the Sustainability Chapter of the Lake County Regional Framework Plan which provides goals and indicators for promoting and tracking the County’s and the larger community’s progress in sustainability policies and programs. Staff is now involved in the implementation phase of this project.
2014 Solid Waste Management Plan Update
Lake County and other SWALCO members continue to implement strategies toward achieving a 60% recycling rate, including new requirements for construction and demolition debris recycling, and making it mandatory for haulers in the unincorporated area to provide recycling containers. In October 2014, the County Board adopted SWALCO’s 2014 Solid Waste Management Plan which incorporated the 60% Recycling Task Force Report and set a goal for Lake County to recycle 60% of its waste/material by 2020. Currently, the County has a 48% recycling rate. The next Plan Update is not due until 2019, as State law requires updates be adopted by county boards every five years.
Construction & Demolition (C&D) Debris Recycling
In implementing the 60% Recycling Plan, Lake County enacted an ordinance requiring the recycling of construction and demolition debris. In 2014, the Planning Building and Development (PBD) Department received a total of 885 permit applications which triggered the C&D requirements of the ordinance. PBD is in the process of collecting and reporting tonnage data from these permits.
Des Plaines River Watershed Workgroup
The Des Plaines River Watershed Workgroup (DRWW) has elected an executive board and appointed committee chairs. The DRWW consists of 16 agencies and four associate members that are committed to working together to improve water quality in the Des Plaines River and its tributaries in a cost effective manner to meet Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) requirements. The DRWW is in the process of developing a comprehensive monitoring plan. The group also has a new website.