Carol Stream is considering leasing a portion of its Water Reclamation Center to a composting company that wants to put a landscape waste transfer facility there.
Village officials say the facility proposed by Green Organics Inc. "differs greatly" from the controversial solid waste transfer facility proposed by Flood Brothers in 2004.
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Green Organics, which has offices at 290 S. Main Place in Carol Stream, has expressed interest in leasing about 1 acre of land on the west side of the village's property at 245 Kuhn Road. Officials from the company met with Village President Frank Saverino and the village staff in May.
The company has proposed a 10-year lease agreement with the village to use the parcel, which would be a collection site for landscape waste from March 15 to Dec. 15. The facility would take in grass and brush in the spring and summer and leaves in the fall -- but not garbage or other materials.
"That's it. Nothing else, nothing more," said David Gravel, the vice president of Green Organics, who addressed a joint meeting of the village board and plan commission/zoning board of appeals Monday night.
Gravel estimated between 25 and 37 vehicles -- everything from Flood Brothers "packer trucks" to landscaping company trucks -- would drop off landscape waste every day. Green Organics would remove all waste daily, making between four and six trips to the company's composting facility in Bristol, a Kendall County town.
A nonpermanent office building is also proposed as part of the plans, and two full-time employees would work on site. The entire site would be screened with a 6-foot high fence.
The facility would likely operate from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
A temporary concrete crusher was located where the facility is proposed. It had been used to break up old concrete that's been reused in the new Kuhn Road bike trail.
Village Manager Joe Breinig said having the facility in Carol Stream could help the village negotiate lower prices in its waste hauling contract with Flood Brothers since garbage trucks would save on fuel costs by only having to take landscape waste a short distance.
The village would also be in line to receive a license fee from Green Organics for the use of the property.
One concern raised Monday night involved potential odors coming from grass clippings at the facility.
Plan Commissioner Dee Spink lives west of the Water Reclamation Center, which already is known to occasionally emit odors.
"You come out of the house and say, 'Oh, it's just a bad day,' when the wind blows that way," Spink said. "I'm afraid to have another type of (facility) next to it because it might become compounded."
Gravel said the company would try to minimize odor concerns by its planned daily removal of landscape waste. The company could also put in a misting system to help neutralize odors.
In 2004, the village board unanimously rejected plans for a waste transfer station in the village's east-side industrial complex. It followed months of political wrangling and dozens of public hearings in which residents from Carol Stream and nearby Glendale Heights argued the facility could affect their property values and quality of life.
Breinig said the proposed landscape waste transfer facility would be on a much smaller scale, wouldn't involve solid waste, and would run only a portion of the year.
"To those of us who still have scars from the previous transfer station discussions, this is the farthest thing from what we talked about before," Breinig told members of the village board and plan commission.
Trustee Rick Gieser said he initially had a less favorable opinion after hearing two words about the proposed facility -- transfer station -- but those feelings changed after hearing Gravel discuss the project in detail.
Gravel responded, "I'm sensitive to it. I know that history."
There are three other landscape waste transfer stations in DuPage County -- in West Chicago, Villa Park and Elmhurst.
Breinig said the village staff will draft an agreement with Green Organics that would ultimately be subject to the village board's approval. The project would also be subject to zoning and stormwater approvals, and certification by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. As part of the zoning process, public hearings would be scheduled for residents to give their views on the proposed facility.
If approved, the facility could be open as soon as the fall, but likely next spring, officials said.