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Healthy People. Healthy Choices.
Healthy Lake County.
Tony Beltran, MBA, Executive Director.

Solid Waste

About Us
We regulate all solid waste facilities with a permit from the Illinois EPA Bureau of Land.  This includes active and closed landfills, compost facilities, landscape waste transfer stations, and construction and demolition debris recycling facilities.

Who Can Receive Services
Solid waste facilities in Lake County with a permit from the Illinois EPA.

Contact Us
Environmental Services

Lake County Central Permit Facility
500 W. Winchester Rd.
Libertyville, IL 60048

7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

The Health Department’s Solid Waste Unit regulates all of the solid waste facilities operating in Lake County that have a permit from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) Bureau of Land. The facilities currently being regulated include two operating municipal solid waste landfills, 22 closed landfills, 11 landscape waste compost facilities, nine landscape waste transfer stations, one construction and demolition debris processing and transfer facility, two household chemical waste collection facilities, one sludge drying facility and one potentially infectious medical waste incinerator. The work has been ongoing since 1993 through a delegation agreement between the IEPA and the County. The Solid Waste Unit also inspects some landfills that are no longer operating but still have the potential to impact the environment and public health if conditions change or deteriorate. Another significant component of the program includes monitoring the water quality of the aquifers in the vicinity of landfills where homes rely on private water wells to assure the water is safe for consumption. The groundwater monitoring results for 2014 is provided below.

Groundwater Monitoring Results for 2014
In 2014, seventy-one private wells located near all of the operating active landfills and closed landfills were sampled twice during the year. The first round of samples was analyzed for 56 volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are not a natural component of ground water. They can, however, be introduced into groundwater near landfills when the liner “leaks” and fails to contain the liquid within the site. The second round of samples was analyzed for parameters that included ammonia, arsenic, chemical oxygen demand (COD), chloride, hardness, iron, nitrate, pH, specific conductivity, sulfate and total dissolved solids. Testing for these parameters is also useful in determining if a landfill is leaking if the concentrations detected significantly exceed the concentrations normally found in the groundwater for the area.

Additional Information
The Solid Waste Unit enforces the applicable state regulations established by the Illinois Pollution Control Board and permit conditions set by the Illinois EPA. For the active landfills, these regulations and permit conditions govern hours of operation, types of material accepted, daily operations, cover materials, litter control, leachate collection, gas management and protection of groundwater quality. For compost facilities and landscape material transfer stations, the regulations and permit conditions govern hours of operation, processing activities, leachate management and odor control. The closed landfills are monitored for maintenance of cover and vegetation, erosion control, leachate seepage, public access and fly dumping. State regulations also apply to waste materials that are illegally disposed of on public or private property. Copies of all inspection and investigation reports are sent to the Illinois EPA. If violations are found and they are not satisfactorily addressed through voluntary compliance, enforcement actions are pursued through the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office and/or the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.

To report complaints related to the solid waste facilities or for illegal dumping activities, contact the Solid Waste Unit at 847.377.8016. A dedicated phone line has been established to specifically report odors related to landfills or other solid waste facilities. The number is 847.377.8096.


Active Landfill Inspections
Active landfill inspections are conducted at least twice per month and focus on:

Methods of operation
Number of personnel and type of equipment to process solid waste in a timely manner
Evaluation of daily, intermediate, and final cover
Litter control
Odor control
Load checks for unpermitted materials
Salvage and/or scavenging activities
Leachate (liquid contaminated by waste) management
Gas management
Groundwater monitoring

Closed Landfill Inspections
Closed landfills are inspected approximately once per year to evaluate:
Cover, vegetation, and erosion control
Public access control
Leachate seeps
Evidence of open dumping

Compost Facility Inspections
Compost facility inspections are conducted approximately twice per month and focus on:
Methods of operation as they relate to odor control
Leachate management
Timely processing of materials

Illegal Disposal Site Investigations
Illegal disposal site investigations are initiated within a day or two after being reported to the Health Department. On average, 25 illegal disposal sites are investigated annually. A variety of materials are discarded but the most common types of waste found include construction and demolition debris, landscape materials, abandoned vehicles, junk and debris and motor oil. Approximately 2500 cubic yards of material is removed each year from illegal sites which is either recycled or delivered to a permitted facility for proper disposal.

Other Activities
Other activities include investigating general solid waste nuisance complaints, reviewing permit applications regarding operational modifications at solid waste facilities, providing comments concerning the applications to the IEPA and monitoring groundwater quality of private wells located near active and closed landfills.

Reports are completed for each inspection and investigation. These reports consist of an inspection checklist developed for each type of facility by the IEPA, a narrative description of conditions found and photographs documenting those conditions. If apparent violations are found, a Violation Notice letter is attached. Original reports are retained at the health department. Copies are sent to the IEPA Springfield and Maywood offices, the State's Attorney's Office and the owner/operator of the facility or in the case of an open dump, the property owner.

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Contact Us
Population Health Services
Mark Pfister, Director
3010 Grand Avenue
Waukegan, IL 60085
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