Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  

Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine


  Office phone numbers:  

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.


The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

  Last year more people used the County's forest preserves than visited Yellowstone National Park.

Residents raising stink over proposed compost facility near Des Plaines

Friday, April 07, 2017
Chicago Tribune
by Grace Wong

Citing concerns about traffic, diminished property values, vermin and especially odor, north suburban residents are organizing in opposition to plans for a new composting facility just outside Des Plaines.

But an owner of the proposed Patriot Acres operation said opponents are jumping to conclusions and don't have all the facts yet.

Residents packed a small meeting hall and overflowed into an adjacent tent in Mount Prospect on Thursday in a session organized by detractors of the facility, which would be built by a Glenview company on a former landfill site along the Des Plaines River across Central Road from Oakton Community College.

One of the panelists, Joseph Pollina, who lives near the proposed site, said he appreciates the need for composting, "but this is not the right spot for it."

The proposal has received clearance from the Cook County Zoning Board of Appeals but must still win approval by the Cook County Board, where the plan is due to be considered next month.

If approved, the facility will occupy 25 acres and compost landscape waste and food scraps, but no meat, said John Lardner, one of the owners of Patriot Acres who attended Thursday's gathering.

The remaining 100-plus acres on the site might be used for community gardens or greenhouses, he said.

Opponents are focusing primarily on the potential for the facility to cause what they call a "stink zone" that they say could carry foul odors up to five miles away, to suburbs including Northbrook, Northfield, Arlington Heights, Park Ridge and Niles.

Brian Critchlow said he was the former site manager of a composting facility elsewhere in the Chicago area. He said his former employer regularly received complaints about odors and that operators of such facilities typically use chemicals to address them.

But Lardner said Patriot Acres will have multiple mechanisms for reducing odor and that opponents pointed only to other operations that had problems.

"It's interesting that they've already judged a project before it's even operating and they compare us to other sites that were poorly run, and yet don't talk about other compost sites that are well run," he said.

The company plans its own informational meeting for 6:30 p.m. Monday in Room 1604 of the main building at Oakton Community College, 1600 E. Golf Road.

Lardner said he will respond to various concerns raised Thursday, "and I just hope that people will give me a fair and objective opportunity to present my information."

One Mount Prospect resident who spoke also asked for residents to "put the brakes on the talk" until they get more information.

Mike Hertz said later that he could hear audience members booing softly as he spoke, "but people were listening, and maybe it got them thinking. That's the whole point. Yeah, it's an emotional issue, but you got to let the voice of reason play out in your decision-making."

But one of the organizers of the opposition, Rob Sulski, formerly with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, said he does not plan on attending Monday's meeting and isn't interested in talking to Patriot Acres operators unless they pull their application. He said he has many questions and concerns about the proposal, but he will raise them in front of the Cook County Board.

Cook County Commissioner Peter Silvestri, whose district includes the proposed composting site, said he plans on recusing himself from the vote because he formerly worked for a law firm that is representing Patriot Acres.

Twitter @GraceWong630

Recent Headlines

Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Special to

Gun ranges in Chicago could be allowed in more areas under proposal
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Stop Congress from trashing Illinois’ concealed gun protections
Monday, April 17, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County CEO Jay Shannon: ACA repeal a threat to public health—and the public system's financial health
Monday, April 17, 2017
Fierce Healthcare

New direct access health care program begins enrolling Cook County residents
Monday, April 17, 2017
Daily Northwestern

Stakes are high for workers, businesses as Illinois considers minimum wage hike
Monday, April 17, 2017
Chicago Tribune

4 officers injured in Cook County Jail after inmates attempt to light jumpsuits on fire
Sunday, April 16, 2017
WLS ABC Eyewitness News

Sneed exclusive: Social media factors into crime-fighting plan
Saturday, April 15, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Former Doctor For Cook County Misspent Public Funds On Piano, Travel: Inspector General
Friday, April 14, 2017
CBS Chicago

Commissioners who took Cubs' ticket offer violated rules, county watchdog says
Friday, April 14, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Highly acclaimed Cook County judge indicted by Feds
Thursday, April 13, 2017
WLS Chicago

Alleged getaway driver Joshua Smith charged in Judge Myles murder
Thursday, April 13, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County shells out $1.6 million to cover mistakes in federal grant applications
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Clerk’s office: David Orr lauds legislation making birth records free of charge for homeless, domestic violence victims, formerly incarcerated
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Chicago Coalition for the Homeless

Dorothy Brown's case-management plan advances after earlier trust questions
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Police say they have 'promising leads' in fatal shooting of Cook County judge
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Cook County judge shot to death outside his home in Chicago
Monday, April 10, 2017
St. Louis Dispatch

Cook County Sheriff: ICE Agents Shouldn’t Identify as Police
Saturday, April 08, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Residents raising stink over proposed compost facility near Des Plaines
Friday, April 07, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Why one of the biggest Medicaid insurers in Illinois is on life support
Thursday, April 06, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.