Recycling Sea Change: Illinois Developing Consensus on Items ‘Accepted’ or ‘Not Accepted’
- Editor’s Note: This article, written by Kane County Recycling Coordinator Jennifer Jarland, is the second of a three-part series on China’s National Sword legislation and its effects on recycling programs in Kane County. Got questions or concerns? Contact Jarland at at 630-208-3841 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The impacts of China’s National Sword legislation and the shifting world of recycling have yet to hit Illinois in force, but to be sure, they are coming.
In response, a group of statewide stakeholders and experts have been convened into a Recycling Contamination Task Force, which includes representation from Illinois associations, agencies, haulers, Materials Recovery Facility operators, and county program coordinators.
I am a member of the task force, serving in my capacity as a board member of the Illinois Counties Solid Waste Management Association.
At our most recent meeting, the task force reviewed a detailed list of recyclable materials and arrived at consensus concerning which items would be “accepted” or “not accepted” for recycling statewide, with a couple of items being “accepted in some areas.”
The list looks nearly identical to the existing Kane County Recycling Guidelines.
Snow Plow Strategy
Goal: It is the goal of the Public Works Department to provide efficient service in the most cost-effective manner for the residents of Maple Park.
Responsibility: The Public Works Department is responsible for the snow removal of approximately 8 miles of Village streets. Removal from a snowfall of 3-5 inches takes approximately 2–6 hours, depending on several factors:
- Time the snow began
- Duration of snowfall
- Type of snow – light/dry or wet/heavy
- Temperature before and after snowfall
- High winds – drifting
- Available equipment
- Available staff
- Safety of the staff
Public Works will not plow or salt if they feel that the snow or ice will most likely melt within a few hours. This saves on overtime for staff and the cost of salt.
Staff/Equipment: The Public Works Department has two full-time employees, one snowplow and a truck with a snow blade. When warranted, the Village will contract the assistance of others.
- First Priority – arterial streets (Main, Liberty, Broadway and DeKalb Avenue). Clearing these streets is necessary for the safe passage of Emergency Management vehicles.
- Second Priority – intersections
- Third Priority – side streets. Side streets are cleared in succession order as time permits. Wind direction and drifting snow factor into the choice of which area of the Village is cleared first.
If snow falls over a long period, the Village may repeatedly return to priority one areas before clearing lesser-used areas. Residents are asked to be patient in such situations. Public Works will complete the job, but it may take longer than expected, depending on weather conditions.
Roads that are NOT maintained by the Village of Maple Park:
- County Line Road – DeKalb County
- Maple Park Road – Cortland Township
Responsibilities of the Residents:
- All vehicles must be removed from the streets after 2 inches of snowfall.
- Residents are responsible for clearing the snow around their mailboxes.
- To avoid being plowed back in, residents may want to wait until Public Works has cleared your street before shoveling the end of your driveway.
- Do a good deed for the community – please clear snow away from the fire hydrants. This provides quick access for firefighters and water maintenance workers in case of an emergency.
Just remember that Maple Park only has two people that plow the whole town. If you don’t see them, that does not mean they are not plowing. If you should have any questions regarding snow removal, please contact Lou Larson, Public Works Director, at 815-901-4980.
We want you to stay safe under dangerous driving conditions. Snow, ice and darkness can be a scary combination while on the road. OSHA states that motor vehicle crashes cost employers $60 billion annually in medical care, legal expenses, property damage and lost productivity, which drive up the cost of benefits such as workers’ compensation, Social Security, and private health and disability insurance. According to OSHA, the average crash costs an employer $16,500, but when an employee is injured the average cost increases to $74,000, and costs can exceed $500,000 when a fatality is involved.
Some Things to Remember While Driving in Winter Conditions
Adjust your speed and distance behind other vehicles for conditions.
Clear your windshield and windows to aid visibility.
Keep your windshield fluid reservoir filled with solvent good to -20°.
Clear snow from headlights and tail lights including high break light so others can see you.
Pump breaks only if vehicle does not have an Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS).
*This article is from the inaugural edition of Risk Report, the Illinois Municipal League Risk Management Association (RMA) quarterly newsletter
Recycling Sea Change: Why China’s ‘National Sword’ Affects Kane County, USA
- Editor’s Note: This article, written by Kane County Recycling Coordinator Jennifer Jarland, is the first of a three-part series on China’s National Sword legislation and its effects on recycling programs in Kane County. Got questions or concerns? Contact Jarland at at 630-208-3841 or email@example.com.
You may have heard that China and other Southeast Asian countries are placing legislative restrictions on imports of American recycled materials. Why is this significant?
Because it directly affects what you can and can’t recycle here in Kane County, IL.
Taking a hard stance on recyclable imports is not a new position for Chinese officials, who started to inspect loads of scrap material coming into the country back in 2013.
Restrictions were put in place because such a high percentage of non-recyclable material was in the loads. Chinese officials did not want to receive America’s garbage along with our valuable recyclable commodities. Fair enough.
But since 2013, China has tightened regulations to the extreme.
In 2017, the National Sword legislation was introduced, calling for bans to some materials and hard-line quality enforcement on imports of post-consumer plastics, unsorted mixed paper, textiles and more. The allowable limit of contamination (non-recyclable material) in recyclables was set at .5 percent, a nearly unattainable number.
A policy document issued by the government also outlined a plan to stop importing material that could be recovered domestically.
Impact on American Recycling Programs
Material Recovery Facility operators are pushing for quality improvements by hiring more workers for the manual sort lines, installing new equipment or slowing the sort lines, and yet the volume of trash in the mix is overwhelming, and they struggle to keep up.
Mountains of material are piling up at the MRFs faster than they can process, bale and ship out.
Many cities have been forced to landfill some recyclable materials or make drastic changes to the materials that they accept in the recycling bins. Some have returned to a duel stream program that requires residents to separate paper and containers.
In addition, there have been serious financial implications. Revenues for commodity materials are in a slide, causing a loss for the nation’s largest publicly traded hauling and processing companies. This deficit is then corrected through higher fees to the recyclers, through municipal contracts.
Ultimately it will be the residents that will have to pay for the increased costs that result from contamination in the bins.
But don’t lose hope! We can clean up our act, and recycle right.
I am working with a statewide group to plan a massive outreach campaign on the dos and don’ts of recycling. You can help us make a big difference in how things turn out for recycling in Illinois.
A public hearing before the Planning Commission of the Village of Maple Park, Kane and DeKalb Counties, Illinois, will be held on Thursday, January 24, 2019, at 7:00 p.m. at 302 Willow Street to consider the update of the Zoning Ordinance of the Village of Maple Park with regards to the following:
- Amending Approved Surfaces Definition 7-4-3
- Amending Approved Surfaces Definition 11-9-3
- Adopting a Solar Energy Ordinance
The proposed changes will be open for inspection at the Maple Park Village Hall, 302 Willow Street, Maple Park, Illinois, beginning on January 2, 2019. Persons wishing to appear at such hearing may do so in person or in writing. Communications in writing may be filed with the Village Clerk, or at the public hearing.