Lakeshore Waste Services has expressed interest in building a transfer station at its corporate headquarters located at 6132 W. Oakton St. near the intersection of Lehigh Ave. in the village's industrial park.
Concerned residents, meanwhile, are teaming up to oppose the idea, based on concerns over health hazards, increased pollution and the negative effect such a project could have on property values in the village.
A tranfer station is a temporary processing site where waste is brought in by smaller trucks and held there until it is tranferred by larger vehicles, to landfills.
"This is a more economical method of transporting waste," according to Peter Falcone, assistant to the village administrator.
Residents aware of the potential project have formed a group called Citizens to Stop Morton Grove Transfer Station.
They have organized to the extent that they are circulating a flyer with information about the tenative agreement reached between the village and Lakeshore in March of 2012, to proceed forward with the initial steps toward making the project a reality.
Resident concerns include an influx of "varmints with parasites, that can be transferred to humans.....it is a health hazard per a Northwestern University study on waste transfer stations and health issues," the flyer reads.
An increase in the smell of garbage also is another potential result residents are distressed about.
"Residents should be aware that garbage will not sit in this location indefinitely; the floor of the proposed station would have to be cleared a minimum of every 24 hours, and for productivity, it is in their [Lakeshore] best interest to move it as quickly as possible," Falcone said.
As far as rodents, Falcone said there have been issues with rats for the last 20 years in Morton Grove, and that the health department continues to deal with the issue.
"Yes, rats can come in on the trucks with the garbage, but they will also leave with the trucks heading out to the landfill," Falcone said.
The company would be required to conduct monthly pest control activities, and follow-through with necessary treatments to abate rodents and pests. The village also would conduct regular inspections, Falcone said.
There are potential benefits to the proposed transfer station, according to Village Administrator Ryan Horne, though the company has not applied to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency yet.
That would be a necessary first step before the process could even begin.
"A Host Benefit Agreement between the village and Lakeshore requires the company pay 50-cents per ton of waste they transport, and the minimum amount of revenue each year would be $60,000," said Horne.
That amount would raise to $1 per ton after the first three years of the agreement.
"Not a very good payout for ruining the environment and everything else that comes with it for our community," the flyer reads.
Horne admits the amount is relatively small, but said more realistic estimates actually put revenue between $250,000 and $400,000 yearly.
"It is in part, about money, the resident's money," Horne said. "When businesses come in or increase their operations, it does take financial stress off of property owners."
Meanwhile, the citizens group also warns in the flyer that another byproduct of a transfer station is to lower property values, while increasing truck traffic. "Why would anyone want to locate here with all the negatives that go with the station?"
Horne said, in the meantime, the idea is a long way from coming to fruition.
"Lakeshore would have to go through a very rigorous process, there would be a required site approval by the village which would take a minimum of 180 days, in addition to approvals from the IEPA, traffic studies and legal requirements to be met," Horne said.
There also are quality of life issues to be considered, Horne said.
"Though it would be located 1,000 feet from any residential areas, residents have expressed distaste for a transfer station being located on this property" Horne said.
Property owners within a few hundred feet of the proposed project would be noticed by the village if the project were to move forward, Horne said, and all residents would be invited to express their opinions at a required public hearing.
If all conditions were met, the issue would in the end, be decided by the village board of trustees.
Horne said he plans to address the issue at the Monday, Aug. 13 board meeting due to continual concerns from residents, to clear up "some misinformation out there," he said.
The board of trustees meets the second and fourth Mondays of every month. The meetings are also televised on Channel 6.
For more information, visit the Village of Morton Grove website.