‘Stop the Mega-Dump’ files appeal with Illinois Supreme Court

By Robert Baird

The citizens’ group “Stop the Mega-Dump” filed a petition with the Illinois Supreme Court on Monday.

The court will relay it’s decision regarding the fate of DeKalb County’s landfill in January or March. The landfill is located in Cortland off of Saumonauk Road, and it consumes garbage from 16 surrounding counties as well.

The citizen group is against the mega dump’s 500-acre expansion, and is determined to find more efficient ways of disposing the waste.

“Waste Management and a team of experts made a good argument,” said Kenneth Andersen, a DeKalb County board member who voted against the expansion. “Considering it will take in seven to ten times more garbage, and its vast size, I just wasn’t convinced.”

The state says the lifespan of the landfill will be six more years.

The chairman of the group, Dan Kenney, is pushing for alternatives that would turn the garbage into energy.

“It’s all about fundamental fairness,” Kenney said. “There are many new technologies to eliminate municipal solid waste to generate electricity that they aren’t considering. Europe is way ahead of us. They plan on having no more landfills by the year 2020.”

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s landfill capacity report revealed that the landfill consumed 97,429 tons in 2010, and 98,897 in 2011, an increase of nearly five tons per day.

“There will be a horrendous amount of truck traffic for DeKalb County,” said John Gudmunson, a DeKalb County board member who also voted against the expansion. “Trucks will be coming off I-88 to get to the landfill. I think citizens will be shocked at the volume of truck traffic this produces.”

Mark Charvat, the group’s publicity officer, said the expansion would cause larger problems for the county besides traffic flow.

“This expansion will cause property devaluation,” Charvat saidin a letter to the Northern Star in October, 2010. “DeKalb County will soon be the epicenter of ‘stink’ in the Midwest.”