New Twist in Morton Grove Controversy Occurs

Lakeshore Waste Services originally wanted to open a garbage transfer station, then agreed to a recycling facility. Now, it has merged with a larger recycling company and the Morton Grove site's future is unclear.


A controversial Morton Grove waste and recycling company, Lakeshore Waste Services, has merged with another Chicagoland recycling company, Recycling Services, Inc., throwing the future of Lakeshore's Morton Grove location into doubt.

Mayor Dan Staackmann brought up the subject at a village board meeting Monday, saying he and village administrator Ryan Horne had met with Lakeshore Waste Services president Josh Connell Friday to discuss the possible scenarios for the village of Morton Grove.

The newly-merged company is called Lakeshore Recycling Systems, according to recyclingtoday.com. 

Last summer, Lakeshore Waste Services' plan to put a waste transfer station at its Morton Grove site on Oakton east of Lehigh drew dozens of people to a village board meeting to protest the idea.

Earlier: Crowd turns out to protest garbage station

Lakeshore eventually withdrew that plan and which it described as a cleaner operation than a waste transfer station. Nevertheless, a residents' organization called Citizens to Stop the Waste Transfer Station continues to oppose the idea of a recycling center, saying it would bring garbage that attracts vermin, lower property values and increase truck traffic. 

Staackmann said he and Horne brought up with Connell the subject that his company would have to make an application for operations in Morton Grove, and also inquired what the merger might mean for the village.

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Connell said no decisions about what the merged company will do with the Morton Grove site will be made for many months, according to Staackmann, who also said Connell indicated it may be used as a headquarters and/or the hub for their trucks. 

"I further told Josh that the village would establish a committee to look at the impact on our community if an application was ever submitted," Staackmann said. 

Tom Maddex, a leader of the Citizens To Stop the Garbage Transfer Station, thanked Staackmann during the public comments period for taking the initiative to meet with Connell. 

Maddex said he drove down to look to south California Avenue in Chicago to look at RSI's facility and said it was located in the right kind of area for a recycling or waste transfer business--a heavy industrial area not near homes or schools. 

Observing that "the faces may change" on the village board after the April election, Maddex asked for an assurance the village would establish a committee to examine what should be sited at Lakeshore's Morton Grove location.

"I would want this to happen and I’m sure knowing Ryan Horne and the job he’s been doing, it would happen," said Staackmann.

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sherwin dubren January 15, 2013 at 08:29 PM
What exactly is a 'hub' for trucks? Does it mean heavy truck traffic in and out of their facility on Oakton? What purpose does it serve? More unanswered questions.
Larry Gomberg January 15, 2013 at 08:31 PM
I spoke with Mr. Maddex and Mr. Bellina after the village board meeting last night. I told them that part of my platform for mayor consists of creating ad hoc committees made up of members of village commissions with expertise in various areas. For example, in the case of the waste transfer station, members of the Economic Development Commission and perhaps the Environmental Health Board would form the ad hoc committee which would hold public hearings on that issue as soon as the village was made aware that Lakeshore was even thinking of a waste transfer station in Morton Grove. . If experts were needed to help answer questions posed by the committee members and/or members of the public, then experts would be brought in to do so. The main point of this ad hoc committee creation is to have public input on controversial projects, whether they be controversial due to cost or purpose or both. The waste transfer station issue became as big as it did because we did not have the correct mechanism in place to address it properly. I believe my proposal is the correct response to this issue. If there are legal obstacles to communicating with the public in the manner I am proposing, let's find a compromise. What should not happen is a repeat of the protest which took place at village hall over this issue. The protests can be avoided if we as a village government improve our method of communication with our citizens and improve our commission system as well. Larry Gomberg Trustee
Brad January 16, 2013 at 08:36 PM
I can't wait to smell the "Hub" for trucks on a hot August day. Way to go Dan! This project should not even be an issue and should be scrapped immediately. The "Hub" has too much potential for expansion and will probably turn into a full blown transfer station at some time after out village elders see the potential for more revenue. Stick to retail and let us breath clean air.
Pat Craig January 16, 2013 at 11:32 PM
Quick question Larry, exactly how do you find a compromise when what you propose is a violation of the law? Isn't that, by definition, suggesting criminal activity?
sherwin dubren January 17, 2013 at 08:24 AM
We hear again from the closet case Action Guy, Pat.
Mr. Rats January 17, 2013 at 01:54 PM
Well Patrick as I've said before many times the key is to let the rat gatherers to not even think about submitting an application. The court of public opinion should rule before any legal courts get involved. So Lakeshore smart move selling the business. Recycling Services don't even think about it. Your best bet is too sell the lot or every executive will feel the MG Rat wrath.
Pat Craig January 17, 2013 at 06:08 PM
I take it that your response means you agree with circumventing the law Sherwin? As usual, you have nothing to say and you say nothing so well.
Pat Craig January 17, 2013 at 06:09 PM
Bottom lin Rats is that the law is the law, (unless you, like Mr. Gomberg and apparently Sherwin believe that you only have to follow the laws you agree with).
sherwin dubren January 18, 2013 at 01:17 AM
Nobody's circumventing anything. This is just part of your over active imagination.
Hey Pat, Mayor Staackmann and Trustee Gomberg are essentially suggesting the same thing, public involvement on a controversial venture should an application be submitted. Mr. Gomberg clearly states that if there are legal obstacles, then find a compromise. I’m sure the Village Corporate Council would be involved in the legality regarding any committee being suggested. My interpretation of your comment is that you are splitting hairs in an attempt to make this a political issue by suggesting criminal activity by Trustee Gomberg. Your actions are what you would call a Tempest in a Teapot. Let’s not sling political mud around the garbage. Tom Maddex
Pat Craig January 18, 2013 at 01:57 PM
Tom; I appreciate that your group is trying to be vigilant regarding any possible actions by Lakeshore. What I do see is an attempt by Trustee Gomberg to make political hay over what is currently a non-issue. The village cannot, based on the research I've done, take any official action over what a legal business "might" do regarding a proposal before any proposal is made. It is called prior restraint. Activist involvement by private groups like yours, no problem. Active government involvement would be a problem and could result in a result diametrically opposed to what you are trying to do. We are coming into another political "silly season" in the village and already we see grandstanding, (and violations of ethics restraints), by public officials looking for a political issue. Part of the problem with that is, often, the law of unintended consequences kicks in when elected officials run their mouth before their brain is engaged... and we taxpayers are ususally the recipients of the negative fallout.
John January 22, 2013 at 06:12 PM
Wow a HUB!!! for trucks. Shame on you Lakeshore (sarcasm). Lakeshore has been parking trucks in Morton Grove for 3 years and you (Mr. Durben) didnt even notice "heavy truck traffic in and out of their facility on Oakton". so much for the negative public impact. Pay attention before you stick your foot in your mouth!!
sherwin dubren January 22, 2013 at 07:39 PM
No, I did notice trucks driving in and out of the facility on Oakton. I was not saying that the Hub is a new item, just an increase in the amount of traffic. You know where you can stick your foot.
Pete January 22, 2013 at 09:01 PM
Back in the late 80s when i went to niles west there was a recycling center right there behind the football stands an between the old menards, funny i dont remember any problem with smell or rats. But i do remember the crabby residents even back then.... Funny things dont change much.


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