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Evanston city officials today continued their campaign to oust a trash transfer station from a residential neighborhood by promoting a new transfer station proposed for an industrial area in Morton Grove.

Mayor Tisdahl and sign-toting neighborhood residents at the news conference.

Evanston city officials today continued their campaign to oust a trash transfer station from a residential neighborhood by promoting a new transfer station proposed for an industrial area in Morton Grove.

At a sidewalk news conference held outside the Veolia transfer station on Church Street, Mayor ElizabethTisdahl said she’s supporting plans by Lakeshore Waste Services, which has the condo waste hauling contract in Evanston, to set up a transfer station at its headquarters at 6132 W. Oakton St. near Lehigh Road.

Tisdahl said the Morton Grove site, because it is in an industrial area and would have to meet current environmental requirements, would provide a much better location than the Veolia site in Evanston that is largely surrounded by homes and was grandfathered in over a quarter century ago under less stringent environmental rules.

The Morton Grove site is 5.1 miles southwest of the Veolia transfer station in Evanston.

Some neighbors in Evanston have complained that the Veolia station is little over a block away from Evanston Township High School and exposes students walking by to the smells and traffic hazards. By comparison, the Lakeshore Waste site is about a half mile from Niles West High School in Skokie.

Neighbor Christine White, holding her child as she addressed the crowd, said Veolia should be ashamed of its behiavior and close the transfer station for the good of the community.

Tisdahl said it’s an injustice to have the transfer station in a residential neighborhood.

The Lakeshore Waste proposal is now awaiting approval by state environmental officials and Tisdahl said she’s urging officials at the state to approve it.

Veolia sued the city about three months to block its imposition of a $2 per ton trash transfer fee on loads dumped at the station.

City Attorney Grant Farrar said the company, a $50-billion dollar French conglomerate, has been using $500-an-hour attorneys to try to bully the city of Evanston. He said the city fee is valid under state law and that the city will continue to defend the fee and to prosecute Veolia in city administrative hearings for city code violations.

A garbage truck leaving the transfer station rumbles by as Alderman Peter Braithwaite, 2nd Ward speaks at the news conference.

Alderman Delores Holmes, 5th Ward, said neighbors have been complaining about the transfer station for decades, but the complaints were ignored until recently.

Public Works Director Suzette Robinson said Lakeshore officials have said village officials in Morton Grove and Skokie are not opposing the new transfer station proposal, because it is located in an industrial area.

Robinson said the city would encourage other waste haulers with city contracts to use the new Lakeshore facility, but that it has no power to require them to use it under existing contracts.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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6 Comments

  1. Veolia harassment bad business and burdens taxpayers

    Maybe the Veolia transfer station is not in the best location but it has been there for several decades.

    So what's all the fuss about all of the sudden?  The people kicking up the dust are owners of the new condos on each side of the transfer station. They knew it was there when they bought their condos. 

    Rather than offer some compromise or incentive to sway Veolia to find another location, the city is in a campaign mode to force Veolia out. City officials have villified Veolia and stated publicly they want Veolia to leave. Veolia spent $3.5 million in construction and renovation costs in the early 2000s that included a new soundproof and odor-suppressing building and a 14-foot screening wall enclosing the station

    Then the city manager assigned a full-time staff person to inspect the transfer station up to four times a day. The City Council meanwhile enacted an ordinance raising fees and demanding Veolia hand over its customer list. Why do you suppose the city wants the customer list? Maybe to apply pressure to Veolia customers not to do business with Veolia?

    These are the reasons Veolia is suing the City of Evanston and they sound like valid reasons. When the city and condo owners began harassing Veolia last year I wrote here that the City of Evanston would end up in court. Veolia is suing for $195,000. Whether they get it or not taxpayers are footing the legal costs.

    My guess is soon Evanston landlords will file a lawsuit against Evanston for passing out an unsubstantiated landlord violation list that went public, clearly affecting the landlords' businesess.  

    Our city leaders seem to pick and choose the winners and losers in our business community, and that's bad business and it's costing taxpayers.

  2. US Veolia ES is on the market

    Veolia wishes to divest their US Veolia Environmental Services Solid Waste unit. It's likely a private equity group will own the Evanston site before you know it.

    1. MG is misguided

      Actually Veolia takes in garbage from surrounding towns.  Most of the garbage is likely from outside of Evanston.

      1. Where’s our garbage?

        Ok, then what town or towns gets the privlidge of having our garbage trucked through their community and dumped in their back yard?

  3. Veoila transfer station

    I agree with the above writer.  My father worked at Active Service many many years ago, as well as several of my brothers.  I also knew there were mostly Evanston  residents working for Active Service back then and I know a few that work at Veoila now.  I never saw or heard of any problems with Veoila until recently.  Maybe it was just not publicized.

     I feel Veoila is being bullied and I feel this situation is going on because of the condominium owners who reside next to the transfer station.  I'm just wondering why the City would build alongside the transfer station anyway.  If  I am not mistaken it stated in the court papers that the condos are built on the transfer station's property.  If this is true, woudn't approval be needed by Veoila?   And what would be the reason for asking  for the list of their customers.

    If that info is given, then what would the City  do with it?  I'm sure there would be some kind of communication to the customers,; written or verbal; otherwise the City would have no use for it.  Also, as far as damage to the road, there are many trucks running back and forth on the streets of Evanston daily during routes in their trucks, vans, and sanitation vehicles, the City of Evanston, as well.

    So why now, all of sudden this fee, and the money is being put in an account, not put towards what it was stated for. That, in itself, seems to be bad business.

    The homeowners that purchased these condos knew Veoila was located in an industrial area at the time, so they should have thought about this before they moved in the location. Veoila is trying to work things out with the City to no avail.

    I think it's pretty sad that the City is going to this length to bully Veoila out after being in Evanston so long. Of all the vacant lots in Evanston, the City folks should've thought more about putting the condos at this site.  It would seem that someone who was in on this venture should've mentioned building an apartment building right next to the sanitation company because sooner or later this situation now going on would start some problems.

    It does seem that the fees were added to push Veoila out of Evanston.   And I do feel that some of this has to do with the condo homeowners' complaints who were aware of their surroundings.

     

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