Landfill expansions approved in Illinois, Ohio

Separate permits create additional landfill capacity in both northern Illinois and northern Ohio.

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December 18, 2015

Two Midwestern landfills, one in northern Illinois and the other in northern Ohio, have received tentative approval to expand their capacity.

A legislative board in Will County, Illinois, has approved a 150-acre expansion proposed by Houston-based Waste Management Inc. (WM)  to its landfill near the town of Elwood, Illinois. The proposed expansion would nearly double the size of the landfill and extend its life by up to 10 years, according to an online article from the Chicago Tribune. Will County is adjacent to Chicago’s Cook County, to the southwest.

WM, having gained the county’s approval, must now apply for permits from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. The online article reports that if WM receives state permits in a timely fashion, it will be able to use the new portion of the landfill by 2018. The existing 200 acres of landfill is on track to reach capacity in 2021.

According to the Tribune, Waste Management representatives portrayed the expansion as necessary to serve the municipal solid waste (MSW) disposal needs of the Chicago area, saying “the expanded landfill will address an estimated shortfall of 33 million tons in disposal capacity for such waste in the 12-county region from 2021 to 2030.”

In Ohio, a report on the WKBN TV website says the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved a permit for the expansion of the Mahoning Landfill Inc. MSW landfill in New Springfield, Ohio. That landfill also is operated by WM.

The permit allows the landfill to both take in more MSW per day and also to expand its disposal area. The new permit allows the landfill to accept up to 4,000 tons per day, up from its current limit of 2,500 tons. Mahoning Landfill Inc. also will be able to expand its disposal area by 51.6 acres, increasing the landfill’s total capacity to 24.11 million cubic yards.

There is still an appeals process available to opponents of the landfill expansion, with the appeals needing to be filed within 30 days of the mid-December 2015 Ohio EPA approval.