Evanston backs Veolia competitor for nearby waste transfer station

Marshall Cohen

Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, joined by several aldermen and residents, publicly endorsed Lakeshore Waste Services to run a waste transfer station in Morton Grove on March 16.

The announcement is the latest escalation in an ongoing public dispute between the city and Veolia Environmental Services, which accused Evanston of harassment and imposing illegal fees in a lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court earlier this year.

“Residents and the city are here today to speak on the injustice of having a waste transfer station operating in a predominantly residential area of the city,” Tisdahl said in front of the Veolia transfer station, 1711 Church St. “The new transfer station will provide users of the Veolia transfer station in Evanston a nearby alternative to transfer their waste at a more appropriately situated facility.”

Veolia’s lawsuit alleges the city’s $2 per ton “road-impact fee” on garbage loads dumped at its Evanston transfer station is discriminatory because it only applies to its company. The fee was implemented in 2010 and Veolia said it has cost the company $300,000.

City Attorney Grant Farrar defended the fee at the news conference and said it was grounded by both previous court rulings and Illinois state law.

“What you have to understand about Veolia is it’s a $50 billion multinational French conglomerate that is utilizing $500 an hour attorneys to continue to bully the City of Evanston, and they’re trying to utilize the courts in furtherance of that aim,” Farrar said.

The presence of the Veolia transfer station, located just east of Evanston Township High School near the border between the 2nd and 5th wards, has angered some local residents.

Kristen White, a member of Evanston Neighbors United, a group organized to express concern about the Veolia transfer station, is a resident of the 5th Ward and spoke out against Veolia during the press conference.

“I am deeply concerned about the impact this facility is having on the health of our youth, many of whom pass by here daily,” White said. “What we know about this waste transfer station is that it stinks.”

Other residents stood behind Tisdahl holding signs that read “dump the Veolia dump” and “garbage stinks.”

Veolia tried to placate resident concerns by planting 50 blue spruce trees near the east side of the waste transfer station and by installing a new “misting system” that would dissipate odors, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The proposed waste transfer station, which would be run by Lakeshore Waste Services, would be located at 6132 W. Oakton St. in Morton Grove.

Calls to the owners of Lakeshore Waste Services were not immediately returned Monday.

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