The Kendall County Health Department takes on the preparation and execution of the county’s Solid Waste Plan which puts special priority on waste recycling and source reduction.
To learn more about the local commercial recycling and source reduction landscape, county health inspectors conducted a survey of local food facilities to see which have incorporated innovative recycling and source reduction practices into their everyday workflow.
A food facility is very different from a home, often due to a larger and more diverse waste stream. This diversity makes waste disposal more challenging.
Data from these surveys was analyzed and several food facilities were champions at recycling waste.
At a recent Solid Waste Plan Update meeting, Kendall County Board member July Gilmore and Board of Health President Chris Cooper honored the 12 top food facilities for excellence and innovation in recycling practices in Kendall County. These sites were chosen because of their dedication to recycling and source reduction practices.
The facilities that were recognized at the meeting included Fox Chase Elementary, Traughber Junior High, Prairie Pointe Elementary, and Southbury Elementary all in Oswego (run by Aramark food service); Crusade Burger Bar, Smokey’s Wood Pit, Tuscan Tavern, LaSalle Manor, Beecher Concessions at Beecher Center and all three Jewel Food Stores located in Kendall County.
The Health Department wants to encourage other businesses to join in and increase recycling today.
Gilmore stated, “It was an honor to recognize these food service commercial recyclers. It is so nice see the county’s Solid Waste Plan come alive and addresses the identified needs.”
Cooper stated, “It was wonderful to hear what both small local food service commercial recyclers as well as large local corporations are doing in the area of recycling for Kendall County. Their dedication is greatly appreciated.”
When asked why recycling was important, Bob Dressel from La Salle Manor Retreat Center stated, “We want to be good stewards of the earth and role models for our visitors. It is costly, but that is our fiscal responsibility to our earth.”
Elaine Erickson from Jewel-Osco stated it was important because, “We have been recycling cardboard for the past 50 years, but only recently we have been giving food waste to local farmers for composting and then spreading into their fields. It is our hope to only get better and reduce our footprint on the earth.”
The Health Department wants to remind everyone that recycling is easy to do and can save precious space in our landfills. All waste haulers across the county are required to take commonly recycled items like glass, paper and plastic at no extra charge for residents.
Another landfill-saving strategy to incorporate into your everyday living should be source reduction. Source reduction is reducing the volume or toxicity of the waste generated in the home.
Simple strategies include switching from disposable napkins to cloth napkins, using silverware and plates that you wash after every use, purchasing items that have less packaging, using reusable shopping bags and practicing water and energy conservation.
If you are interested in learning more about solid waste recycling and source reduction, visit the Kendall County Health Department at kendallhealth.org or call 630-553-9100.