Per the Illinois Solid Waste Planning and Recycling Act, each county shall have an official plan for management of the municipal solid waste (MSW) generated within its boundaries. The first McLean County Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan was adopted in October 1991. After some minor amendments, it was readopted in October 1992. Following that, the plan has been updated every five years as required, with plan updates being adopted in 1997, 2002, 2007, and 2012.
The Ecology Action Center acts as the solid waste agency for McLean County, the City of Bloomington, and Town of Normal, providing services including recycling education and outreach, household hazardous waste coordination, and solid waste planning. At the direction of the McLean County Solid Waste Technical Committee in November 2015, the Ecology Action Center staff began work not on the usual five-year update, but rather a new 20-year solid waste plan for the community.
A new waste plan is necessary due to the significant changes that have occurred since the development of the original plan in 1991. In addition to substantial improvements in recycling technology, infrastructure, and residential practices, other variables have shifted, such as commodity markets and landfill capacity. The McLean County Landfill is currently estimated to reach capacity and begin closure in the first quarter of 2018.
Per the Illinois Solid Waste Planning and Recycling Act, each solid waste management plan shall conform to the waste management hierarchy and include the following provisions:
- Description of the origin, content and weight or volume of municipal waste currently generated within the county’s boundaries, and the origin, content, and weight or volume of municipal waste that will be generated within the county’s boundaries during the next 20 years, including an assessment of the primary variables affecting this estimate and the extent to which they can reasonably be expected to occur.
- A description of the facilities where municipal waste is currently being processed or disposed of and the remaining available permitted capacity of such facilities.
- A description of the facilities and programs that are proposed for the management of municipal waste generated within the county’s boundaries during the next 20 years, including, but not limited to their size, expected cost and financing method.
- An evaluation of the environmental, energy, life cycle cost and economic advantages and disadvantages of the proposed waste management facilities and programs.
- A description of the time schedule for the development and operation of each proposed facility or program.
- The identity of potential sites within the county where each proposed waste processing, disposal and recycling program will be located or an explanation of how the sites will be chosen. For any facility outside the county that the county proposes to utilize, the plan shall explain the reasons for selecting such facility.
- The identity of the governmental entity that will be responsible for implementing the plan on behalf of the county and explanation of the legal basis for the entity’s authority to do so.
In addition, adoption and updating of the solid waste plan must adhere to the following requirements:
- Prior to adoption by the governing body of the county, the county shall submit copies of the proposed plan for review and comment to the Agency, all municipalities within the county, all areawide planning agencies and the county health department.
- The county shall also make the proposed plan available for public review and comment. The period for review and comment shall be 90 days. The county shall hold at least one public hearing on the proposed plan during this period. The plan subsequently submitted to the governing body of the county for adoption shall be accompanied by a document containing written responses to substantive comments made during the comment period.
- The governing body of the county shall adopt a plan within 60 days from the end of the public comment period. Within 10 days of adoption, the plan shall be submitted to the Agency for review.
- Each county waste management plan shall be updated and reviewed every 5 years, and any necessary or appropriate revisions shall be submitted to the Agency for review and comment.
Accordingly, the following timeline is planned for the approval process:
- August 30, 2017: Present Solid Waste Plan to McLean County Solid Waste Technical Committee for review and approval.
- September 7, 2017: Present Solid Waste Plan to McLean County Land Use Committee as an informational item.
- October 4, 2017: Present to the McLean County Regional Planning Commission for review and comment.
- October 5, 2017: McLean County Land Use Committee reviews Solid Waste Plan, begins 90-day public comment period. Post Solid Waste Plan to McLean County Website, Ecology Action Center website, and provide hard copies for review in McLean County Clerk’s office. Distribute to McLean County municipalities outside Bloomington-Normal for review and comment.
- October 9, 2017: Present to the Bloomington City Council for review and comment.
- October 16, 2017: Present to Normal Town Council for review and comment.
- December 7, 2017: Mclean County Land Use Committee holds public hearing on Solid Waste Plan.
- January 4, 2018: McLean County Land Use Committee concludes public comment period on Solid Waste Plan. Ecology Action Center provides response to substantive comments on plan. McLean County Land Use Committee considers plan for approval.
- January 15, 2018: Normal Town Council considers Solid Waste Plan for approval.
- January 16, 2018: McLean County Board considers Solid Waste Plan for approval.
- January 22, 2018: Bloomington City Council considers Solid Waste Plan for approval.
- January 31, 2018: Solid Waste Plan submitted to Illinois EPA.
The proposed plan is available for download as a pdf or is available in hard copy form upon request from the Ecology Action Center or the McLean County Clerk’s office. Written comments about the plan may be submitted at the McLean County Clerk’s office through January 4, 2018.