The New Lenox Township Board of Trustees announced a new electronic recycling program will begin Wednesday, July 27, at its Thursday, July 14 meeting.
Officials unanimously approved an intergovernmental agreement with Will County that will allow for disposal of electronics between 5-7 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of every month at the Township Offices, 1100 S. Cedar Road.
Will County Board Member Ray Tuminello, representing District 12—which includes New Lenox and Mokena—told the board that getting the program back on track for residents is the ultimate goal.
“The county is dedicated to do anything we need to do to ensure that there’s a smooth transition, so we can get some kind of recycling program back online,” he said. “We understand where a product goes if we didn’t come up with something.”
In recent months, Township officials started working with the County to secure an intergovernmental agreement that would introduce a new program for disposal of electronics.
The former site of the New Lenox electronic recycling center closed in February, much like several other facilities located in Will County. State law mandates that putting electronic waste in landfills is illegal.
Tuminello noted that TV manufacturers are withholding the monies that otherwise would help residents to properly dispose of their electronic purchases. He said this loophole must be closed.
“Our entire hope really is to go through our legislative committee at the county, which I currently sit on, and one of the things we are going to be pushing downstate is for some of that funding to come back to the local municipalities and the local townships,” Tuminello said.
The initial agreement called for pick-up on the second and fourth Thursdays of every month, but officials noted how the program coincided with the schedule for the Township Board of Trustee meeting. That’s no longer the case.
“We wanted to flip that,” Township Supervisor Michael Hickey said. “The best fit for the other township that’s doing (electronic recycling) is doing it the first and third Wednesday. We will be doing (collection) the second and fourth Wednesday.”
Hickey said the program will run independent of the Township, even as collection is hosted on-site.
Will County is contracting with a new vendor, Electronic Recyclers International. As part of the new agreement, they will handle all sorting, packaging and loading of electronics.
As for cost, the service is free to residents.
The staging of the recycling event is still in the works, Hickey said. Officials will be ironing out those details in the weeks to come and adjust as needed.
If all pans out according to plan, Trustee Martin Boban said the recycling drop-off program will be staged so that cars run west of Cedar Road from Otto Drive toward West Illinois Highway. The hope, according to Boban, is that residents will be patient when the program first launches, so as to ease the transition.
In a related development, the Township parking lot was repaved recently. Officials said the hope is that the completion of that project allows for the electronic recycling program to see a smooth transition when it begins later this month.
Rent for senior housing center in New Lenox Township on the rise
Those living in the New Lenox Township’s senior housing center will find a new rate in September.
The proposed rents at Guy A. Sell Senior Housing Center will increase by 2 percent for both single and two-bedroom apartments, upon extension of the lease. That will cost residents living in single-bedroom units $763, while others living in two-bedroom units will pay $895.
“Our hands are pretty much tied,” Hickey said. “ The non-callable bonds are set. The monies that we have is set aside for bonds payment. We can sit there, make 1 percent, and our responsibility is 5.5 (percent).”
In 2015, rents for single and two-bedroom apartments amounted to $748 and $878, respectively. In 2014, tenants paid $732 for a single and $860 for a two-bedroom apartment.
Hickey said in recent years, board action resulted in a rate freeze for tenants in senior housing, and the Township has also been able to keep increases to fewer than 2 percent.
“We’ve tried to be as reasonable as we could, but we have to keep moving it up because of our bond obligation,” he said.
Hickey said the board’s unanimous decision to move forward with the rent increase allows taxpayers to save money.