Promote a Sustainable Environment
Preserve the health of our natural resources, air quality, 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 and other ecological systems.
Lake County has invested in energy saving improvements to buildings resulting in significant energy savings over the past several years. Building improvements include the installation of energy efficient windows, HVAC improvements, advanced building automation and controls and the installation of more efficient plumbing and electrical systems. The County recently renovated several floors in the Courthouse Administrative Tower, which included window replacements, installation of energy efficient lighting and automation devices. Over a six month time period, the County has saved 778,858 kilowatt hours in electricity, which translates to about 1.5 million kilowatts per year or $97,000 in annual savings. These savings will result in a return on investment of 10 years. The 27% reduction in energy use is equal to a yearly reduction of 1074 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
Advancing Efforts to Achieve 60% Recycling
SWALCO continues to implement the 60% Recycling Task Force Plan, and recently reported 2014 residential pounds per capita disposal rate of 1.87 with 12 communities meeting or exceeding the 2015 goal of 1.6 pcpd. SWALCO also conducted 15 of the planned 30 collection events for 2015. Of particular note is the pharmaceutical collection program, a collaborative effort between SWALCO and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, the State’s Attorney’s Office and the Lake County Underage Drinking and Drug Prevention Task Force.
Construction & Demolition (C&D) Debris Recycling
In implementing the 60% Recycling Plan, Lake County enacted an ordinance requiring the recycling of construction debris. As a result, Planning Building and Development estimates approximately 2,274 tons of construction waste has been diverted from landfills in 2015. Based on this self-reported data, it appears the 75% diversion requirement has been exceeded. The program is still new, and these values are expected to evolve as a greater number of permitted projects are completed.
The electric vehicle pilot program was fully deployed with the installation of charging stations at the Central Permit Facility and the Health Department’s facility on Grand. Staff members at DOT, Health and the Public Defender’s Office were trained on vehicle operation and charging methods. A policy for visitor and employee charging was also developed. Vehicle energy use will be tracked and reported through a cloud-based charging program and those reports will be incorporated into these updates.
The Stormwater Management Commission implemented or administered two grant and CCIP-funded green infrastructure projects that have created 2,284 feet of stream channel for the Skokie River and restored a total of 550 linear feet of stream bank in the Indian Creek watershed.
DOT also plays a large role in incorporating green infrastructure into the design of roadways and bike paths. A wonderful example of this is the Peterson Road widening and reconstruction project from west of Illinois Route 83 to west of Alleghany Road. Green Infrastructure that has been incorporated into the design includes the construction of rain gardens in the landscaped median areas, the addition of compost and deep tilling practices in the ditch lines, medians and detention basins to improve soil permeability which will reduce stormwater runoff and help with the establishment of native plantings throughout the project. The bike path will be constructed using recycled asphalt shingle material. The project is expected to be completed next year.