Neighbors fear new plans at Lakeshore Waste Services in Morton Grove
Neighbors fear Lakeshore Waste Services in Morton Grove could again be considering expansion, after the company recently merged with a Chicago-based recycling company. | Nick Katz~Sun-Times Media
Neighbors of Lakeshore Waste Services as well as Morton Grove village officials are waiting to see what the company will propose for vacant land next to its Morton Grove headquarters now that Lakeshore has merged with a Chicago company.
Earlier this month Lakeshore announced its merger with Recycling Systems Inc. into a new company called Lakeshore Recycling Systems LLC.
Lakeshore, 6132 Oakton St., provides waste hauling, recycling and other similar services to residential and commercial customers in the Chicago area. Recycling Systems, 3152 S. California, leases trash containers as well as providing hauling and recycling services.
In September, Lakeshore dropped a proposal to open a waste transfer station near its office after a large number of Morton Grove residents opposed it. Citizens to Stop the Morton Grove Garbage Transfer Station collected more than 200 signatures on an online petition opposing the transfer station.
They also criticized the village for not doing enough to inform them of Lakeshore’s plans.
In response, the village issued a special edition of its newsletter and has pledged to keep residents informed if Lakeshore comes back with a new plan.
Lakeshore owner Josh Connell could not be reached for comment. But last fall, he said the company might be back with a proposal for a recycling center on the site.
Village Administrator Ryan Horne said neither Lakeshore nor the new company have submitted any proposals to the village since Lakeshore withdrew its application for the waste transfer station.
“There’s been nothing,” he said.
Horne said he and Mayor Dan Staackmann met recently with company officials. The company did not have any specific plans for the property, he said.
“The feeling I got from that meeting is they are going to take a look at what their new (company) model is going to be,” Horne said.
Village officials also have asked the company to let them know as early as possible of any new plans for the site.
“We just reminded their people of the process. We let them know we’re here,” Horne said.
Tom Maddex, who organized the opposition to the waste transfer station, said neighbors are concerned about any proposal Lakeshore might come up with for the property, including a recycling center. He doesn’t know how the merger affects outlook for the site.
“I don’t know if it makes it more likely or not,” he said, “It’s still a concern.”
He said they also are concerned that the new company might want to open a facility to process construction debris. It is one of the businesses that Recycling Systems has been involved in.
Maddex said construction materials would not be leftover building materials, but other trash collected at a construction site.
“In no way do we want to get to the construction part of the business,” Maddex said. “It’s not just two-by-fours.”
Maddex was among the residents who met with Lakeshore officials after the company cancelled the waste transfer station. At that time, he said, they were talking about applying for a recycling center on the property, something residents would also oppose.
“He wants to grow his business,” Maddex said of Connell. “This (merger) was a new development. We’re continuing to monitor it.”
Maddex noted that he visited Recycling Systems’ site in Chicago and said it’s nothing like the property in Morton Grove.
“It’s a heavily industrial area,” Maddex said. “It’s not even near a residential neighborhood at all.”