out of the Landfill
seen in the Peoria Journal Star - Nov. 28, 2001]
decision could alter
future of landfills
- The Peoria County Board's decision on whether to allow yard waste into
the municipal landfill could affect the future of landfills everywhere,
an environmental activist said Tuesday.
If the board approves the proposal, it will be the first breakthrough
on the ban in Illinois, Tom Edwards told the board's health and environmental
issues committee. National environmental groups are now watching to see
what will happen in Peoria, he said.
City of Peoria officials have proposed a five-year pilot project to allow
yard waste to be mixed with other trash, hoping to save money on hauling
costs and make money on tipping fees. Illinois and other states banned
the mixture a decade ago to save landfill space.
The pilot project, which will require legislation from the General Assembly,
would allow the landfill to be studied to see whether the yard waste actually
Consulting engineer Pat Sloan believes the yard waste will decompose and,
therefore, add no volume while it speeds up the production of methane,
which can be turned into electricity.
The measure passed the City/County Landfill Committee and the Peoria City
Council but stalled recently at the County Board. The environmental committee
also has recommended it, but heard additional discussion on Tuesday.
Paul Rosenbohm of LHF Compost Inc. operates a dairy and farms 800 acres
near Greater Peoria Regional Airport. He has been accepting yard waste
from haulers for composting, and is seeking a state permit to sell the
The compost has enriched his farm fields, he said, and enabled him to
cut back on fertilizer purchases. He is paid $7.70 per cubic yard by haulers
to take the yard waste, he said, less than the $9 the landfill will charge
when rates rise on Dec. 1.
The pilot project likely would end his venture, he told the Peoria City/County
Landfill Committee, which also met Tuesday and discussed the proposal.
"If he sells it, we get the sales tax and we've encouraged a green
business. But this (methane production) is a green business, too,"
said Cheryl Budzinski, who chairs the environmental committee and also
is a member of the landfill committee.
Relying on figures from Sloan, Budzinski said the county expects to receive
$13,000 per year in additional tipping fees, and the landfill committee
will receive $16,000 more each year to be used for landfill closure. The
measure also might cut back on air pollution from leaf burning and trucking,
Dave Schaab of Waste Management said elimination of dual routes to pick
up yard waste and trash may allow up to a 10 percent cutback for truck
That might translate into substantial savings for the city's garbage hauling
contract, city officials have said.
Edwards said that compost is a resource that should not be wasted in a