DeKalb Landfill Opponents Try Another Tactic

Nov 16, 2012

A group fighting landfill expansion in DeKalb County is going to take a new approach, pulling township government into the case. 

Cortland residents meet with members of Stop the Mega Dump,
Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

“Stop the Mega Dump” recently lost its appeal of a decision by the DeKalb County Board to allow Waste Management to greatly expand the landfill and take in waste from other counties.

Georgia Neal lives near the landfill: she says it’s a public health issue, especially with an elementary school nearby. She says she’ll do whatever is needed to get their message out, including going door-to-door.

I’m just hoping and praying it’s not too late that we can stop this.

At a meeting last night, landfill opponents voted to take their case to the Illinois Supreme Court: that will buy time for Cortland Township residents to organize to keep the landfill expansion from going ahead in their community.

Township resident Frankie Benson is counting on a state statute that says citizens can vote to prevent garbage from being deposited in their township. She says  “Cortland Township has sent two letters saying we don’t want the landfill. They were sent to the county board, and they were completely ignored. Never got a response. Nothing.”

Waste Management cannot go ahead with its expansion plans until all court proceedings are over. “Stop the Mega Dump” is now helping Cortland Township residents raise the ten-thousand dollars it’s expected to take to hire an attorney to handle their case. “Stop the Mega Dump’s” Grace Mott has a favorite saying: there are always a few people willing to stand up and do what’s needed…and many people who are willing to let them. She says it just takes a few more of those few and the rest will follow behind.

They’re also looking for assistance from other townships throughout the state.