Request to delay construction of Peoria’s next landfill is withdrawn
The company under contract to build Peoria's third landfill has officially withdrawn a request to delay construction.
Green For Life Environmental Inc. (GFL), a Toronto-based waste management firm, purchased Peoria Disposal Company last year. In doing so, it assumed responsibility for developing Peoria City/County Landfill No. 3.
Earlier this year, GFL sought to postpone the start of work on the new landfill to be located adjacent to the two existing landfills west of Edwards.
“They asked for consideration in delaying it, and the city and county said, ‘OK, give us your proposal,” said Steve Morris, chair of the joint city/county landfill committee.
But after being unable to negotiate an agreement on compensation for the delay, GFL notified the committee at its Oct. 5 meeting that it will proceed with construction as planned. Representatives of GFL did not respond to multiple requests for comment from WCBU.
Peoria Disposal’s original contract from 2009 called for having the new landfill ready by the time Landfill 2 reaches its capacity. Morris said that date has been a moving target.
“I think at one point, they thought maybe Landfill 2 would be full by 2018. But volumes have gone down over time and compaction has gotten better over time, so they can fit more trash in a landfill,” said Morris, noting the current landfill’s projected life expectancy ends in the second half of 2024.
The committee held a special meeting on Sept. 23 specifically to discuss GFL’s request. The committee had received a list of concerns about the potential delay from Joyce Blumenshine of the Heart of Illinois Sierra Club.
According to the minutes of that meeting, an attorney for GFL, Brian Meginnes, indicated the company suggested delaying Landfill 3 because “this area really didn’t need two landfills operating at the same time,” noting that GFL also operates the Indian Creek Landfill near Hopedale in Tazewell County.
Morris said GFL should have no trouble meeting the 2024 target after rescinding the request for a delay.
“I don't think GFL has to start turning dirt until next year in order to be ready to accept waste at a new Landfill 3, so I think we're still within the timeframe,” said Morris. “I don't think it's a situation that Peoria would have no place to put its trash.”