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Chicago Tribune: Commissioner Britton, Glenview Village Board still oppose compost facility plan

Commissioner Britton, Glenview Village Board still oppose compost facility plan, want county to deny special use extension

By Alexandra Kukulka

On a 4-0 vote, the Glenview Board of Trustees passed a resolution at its July 18 meeting opposing the extension of a special use permit for the Patriot Acres composting facility.

The resolution is meant for the Cook County Board of Commissioners as it considers the extension of the special use permit at its meeting scheduled for Thursday, according to a Glenview staff report.

Since 2017, the owners of Patriot Acres have been pursuing approvals to open and operate their first for-profit composting facility on the site of the former Sexton landfill, 9800 Central Road, in unincorporated Cook County, according to the report.

The area is located north of Oakton Community College, east of River Road, near the forest preserve and across the Des Plaines River.

The village report indicates that the proposed facility would accept various organic materials, including landscape waste, food scraps and other organic materials. Once the composting process is complete, the material would be sold to public or private customers to use in landscaping and gardening.

In May 2017, the county board approved the special use permit for Patriot Acres, but the facility owners are still seeking other required approvals, said Jeff Rogers, village of Glenview planning manager.

“At this time, the permit process remains in progress with outstanding approvals from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency,” Rogers said.

Village staff has had a number of concerns with the proposed compost facility, including potential odors, inadequate stormwater design and traffic impacts on Central Road, Rogers said.

The village board approved a resolution opposing the composting facility in 2017, according to the report.

In the last two years, the owners have continued to submit plans for the composting facility and “have made substantive changes to their plans in response to comments received,” according to the report.

Village staff has reviewed the new plans and still has concerns regarding the underlying landfill’s gas and leachate extraction systems, slope stability, stormwater management methods and floodplan impacts, the report indicates.

Village President Jim Patterson said the village is uncertain what will happen next but that odors are a major concern.

“With the prevailing winds coming from the west, it could be uncomfortable and an unfavorable aroma if it were to exist,” Patterson said. “What they want to do is take our basic food and compost, which makes sense, we just disagree with the location because it happens to be just to our west.”

Trustee Deborah Karton said that recently-elected county Commissioner Scott Britton, who was previously a Glenview trustee, opposes the compost facility.

“When Commissioner Britton was Trustee Britton he was equally as opposed to this, and so I think that with such a strong partner on the Cook County board ... we will have a stronger advocate to plead our case,” Karton said.

In an interview with the Glenview Announcements, Britton said he voted against the composting facility as a Glenview trustee because he had concerns about establishing a compost facility on a former landfill.

Britton said that as a commissioner, he will vote against extending the special use permit for the composting facility after reviewing a recent Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County study that highlighted environmental concerns with the leachate extraction systems and the impact on the Des Plaines River.

“As a Democrat on the board, I am generally in favor of composting,” Britton said. “I don’t think it’s a good idea in that particular location so that’s why I’m going to oppose it.”

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