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DeKalb County landfill could get more outside trash Aug. 1

Committee urges County Board to update agreement with Waste Management

SYCAMORE – Trash from McHenry and Kane counties could come to the DeKalb County landfill as early as August if County Board members vote to amend the county’s agreement with Waste Management at their next meeting.

DeKalb County’s finance committee voted Wednesday to recommend that the entire County Board vote to allow more waste from outside of DeKalb County to start being accepted Aug. 1 to generate about $70,000 a month through December in order to raise money to help fund the DeKalb County jail expansion.

The amended agreement still needs approval from the entire County Board on May 21 in order to become official.

Dale Hoekstra, Waste Management director of operations, said the landfill would take in an additional 500 tons of trash a day on top of its current rate of about 300 tons a day.

“This is the best solution for the county,” Hoekstra said.

According to the county’s host community agreement, a minimum of 375,000 tons of trash a year will come to DeKalb County starting Jan. 1. Waste Management representatives said they will target bringing in 500,000 tons a year, the maximum amount of tonnage allowed under the agreement, to bring in more revenue for the county.

Officials plan to use the additional revenue to help fund the expansion process at the county jail. Board members are trying to spend only $23 million on the jail project even though the cheapest of three proposals unveiled April 30 found it would cost $29 million to expand the jail.

Anthony Cvek, a Sycamore Republican from District 4, was one of a few County Board members on the finance committee to raise concerns about how Waste Management would handle bringing in the extra trash. Cvek cited the Jan. 14 incident in which students and staff at Cortland Elementary School were sickened by an odor from the landfill.

Hoekstra said an odor control officer will be on site when construction takes place when school is not in session to ensure a similar incident doesn’t happen again.

Construction began this spring to expand the landfill.

“I feel fairly confident it’s been addressed, but it doesn’t change the perception,” Cvek said.

Misty Haji-Sheikh, a Democrat from District 7, was the only board member on the finance committee to vote against the amended agreement with Waste Management. She said she plans to tour Waste Management’s facilities to get a better understanding of the work they do.

Hoekstra invited all the County Board members to tour Waste Management’s facilities.

“I have too many questions,” Haji-Sheikh said.

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