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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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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