Sustainable Lake County

Lake County is committed to promoting and sustaining a safe, healthy, vibrant, and environmentally responsible county and community as shown in our Strategy for Sustainable Lake County (PDF)

Waste & Recycling

The Solid Waste Agency of Lake County (SWALCO) recently set a goal of increasing Lake County’s recycling rate from 48% to 60% by 2020, which requires going beyond traditional recycling of cans and bottles. Municipalities and SWALCO offer a growing number of options that you can participate in to dispose of paint, electronics, clothing, shoes, household chemical waste and food scraps.

Take Action: You can prevent items from ending up in Lake County's landfills by disposing of them properly. Find the most convenient disposal option for you by visiting SWALCO's How Do I Recycle This?

Energy Efficiency

Using energy efficiently can not only save you money, but it can also help reduce the amount of local air pollutants. 

Take Action:
Residents can make efficiency improvements that can generally help reduce their energy costs by 15% to 30% – that’s $450 to $900 per year! 

Commercial and non-profit businesses looking to retrofit lighting and HVAC systems can take advantage of the following state, utility and foundation energy efficiency grants and rebates: NicorPeoples GasComEd and ICECF.

Renewable Energy

Renewable energy resources can help reduce pollution and greenhouse gases, foster a more energy-independent and sustainable Lake County, and save you money. Did you know that Lake County residents can receive incentives and grants for renewable energy installations?
Take Action: You have a choice on who provides the supply portion of your electric service. By shopping for electric supply, you may be able to save money, find suppliers that use green/renewable energy resources, or get different types of services. 

Local Food

Eating local food helps our local economy, increases quality of life by providing high-quality food, and reduces food miles and gas emissions which helps the environment. Learn more about the local food industry:
Take Action:  You can buy local food at a farmers market, or  grow your own food by starting your own garden, or joining a community garden (PDF)


Lake County is surrounded by water as it has more than  200 lakes and rivers and over 100 beaches. There are simple things you can do to protect one of our most valuable resources. 

Take Action: Keep harmful contaminants out of our water by:

You can also save water and protect the environment by using WaterSense labeled products in your home, yard, and business. 


By supporting a sustainable transportation system, you can help reduce your fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, save money, and help reduce traffic congestion. 

Take Action: Sustainable transportation in Lake County is possible by following a few simple principles. 
  • Consider shopping local, opting to take transit, ride your bike or walk instead of using your car
  • Start a carpool network at your office or join a ridesharing network
  • Join a car sharing network which provides access to a vehicle when you need it without the expense of ownership
  • Whenever feasible, try biking or walking to work
  • Suggest teleconferencing as an option to in-person meetings
Air Quality1


Sustainable land use  preserves our landscape, conserves natural resources, and provides safety and well-being to the community. 

Take Action:
You can help shape the future of Lake County's development and conservation measures.

Residents: Find out what you can do: Conserve Lake County, Lake County Forest Preserves.

Businesses: See how you can make a difference by visiting Lake County Partners' website.

Air Quality

Understanding the quality of the air you breathe can impact your health. Learn more about air quality measures including radon testing, monitoring ozone levels, and asthma triggers.   

Take Action: Learn how you can take small steps to improve air quality in and around our homes.