Northwest Cook County Balefill
Need for the Balefill
- The Chicago Metropolitan Region of Illinois generates 73.7% of the state’s municipal solid waste (MSW) but only has 12.8% of the state’s remaining landfill capacity.
- Landfill capacity in the region will be depleted in just over five years (2006).
- (Source: Nonhazardous Solid Waste Management and Landfill Capacity in Illinois, 1999 Annual Report, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, January 2001)
- SWANCC owns approximately 410 acres in Cook County, Illinois. The property is located in northwestern Cook County. Specifically, it is in unincorporated Hanover Township, just east of the Kane County border and approximately 1/2 mile north of DuPage County.
- The Balefill is planned for 142 of the 410 acres.
- The footprint of the Balefill will have significant buffers from the adjacent property boundaries. Buffers from surrounding properties will be approximately 1,000 feet to the east and 1,800 feet to the south.
- The United States Congress required the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to study the effects of the Balefill on the St. Charles Aquifer (formally Newark Valley Aquifer). The Corp concluded that there would be no risk to the Aquifer from the Balefill. St. Charles Aquifer (formally Newark Valley Aquifer) is ½ mile to the West.
- SWANCC predecessor entered into option to purchase the Balefill Site May, 1986.
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers letter stating no jurisdiction, April 17, 1986.
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers letter stating no jurisdiction, March 4, 1987.
- Cook County Zoning Board of Appeals approval received, November 4, 1987. - 10 days of hearings
- Cook County Commissioners approval received, November 16, 1987.
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers letter stating jurisdiction, November 16, 1987.
- IEPA development permit approval received, November 16, 1989.
- Cook County PUD approval received, January 16, 1990.
- Permit application filed with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE), February 8, 1990.
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers & USEPA Report to Congress stating that the Balefill poses no risk to the Newark Valley Aquifer, May 11, 1990.
- SWANCC purchased the Balefill property August 1990.
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Denial of Balefill permit application, January 31, 1991.
- Permit application filed with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE), October, 1992.
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Denial of Balefill permit application, July 21, 1994.
- Illinois Supreme Court rules for SWANCC against Kane County, Village of Bartlett, City of Elgin and the Citizens Against the Balefill challenging the Balefill’s zoning, November 2, 1995.
- SWANCC files lawsuit in United States District Court challenging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers jurisdiction over the Balefill property, December 1994.
- U.S. District Court rules against SWANCC on March 25, 1998.
- U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirms District Court decision, October 7, 1999
- U.S. Supreme Court grants writ of certiorari on May 24, 2000
- U.S. Supreme Court Decision January 9, 2001
- SWANCC paid approximately $5 million for the Balefill property.
- Approximately $30 million of SWANCC’s debt is attributable to the Balefill.
- Balefill would save SWANCC members approximately $4.5 million dollars per year in tipping fees or $90 million over the life of the facility, compared to utilizing private sector landfills.
General SWANCC Information
- 23 municipalities are members of SWANCC.
- Approximately 800,000 residents.
- Members deliver 250,000 tons of waste annually to SWANCC’s transfer station in Glenview.
- Members recycle over 150,000 tons of material, which is approximately 40% of the total residential waste stream.