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Unofficial coalition opposes Heartland Recycling coming to Sugar Grove

Heartland Recycling proposes land reclamation site near Kaneland Harter Middle School

SUGAR GROVE – A group of Sugar Grove residents is opposed to a new business coming to the area, but a business official said they have nothing to worry about.

Heartland Recycling partner John Savage had been looking for a property to develop on Route 47 and found the 48-acre site at the northwest corner of Harter Road and Sugar Grove Parkway.

Savage is interested in the property for a couple of reasons.

“We’ve been looking for other areas close by to our Aurora location with strong access to transportation,” Savage said. “We were looking on Route 47 and found the area by Harter Middle School. It was an abandoned old mining property and was left in a distressed undeveloped state. We were attracted to it because of the access to the tollway. With the corridor opening up in the future, there would be positive growth.”

Five employees will be on site with a variety of clients, contractors and land developers, Savage said.

Savage emphasized how he wants to be perceived in the community if the proposed site is approved by the Village Board.

“We want to be good neighbors and have a partnership with the village,” Savage said. “This is highly regulated. We want to be good citizens. We encourage residents to come see what we’re doing in Aurora. The site could be redeveloped into condos, office buildings and more depending on the market. There would be more job generation, sales tax and economic benefits.”

Sand was left on the existing property that Heartland Recycling plans to sell.

“The sand is highly sought after,” Savage said. “There will be no blasting. We will be scooping the existing pile of sand off of the property and selling it to contractors for material, for concrete, for foundations, for roads. Two percent will go back to the village.”

There will be no physical building estimated into the cost of the operations conducted by Heartland Recycling. Its costs will be centered on earth-moving equipment, Savage said.

Jim Leader, a Sugar Grove resident, will live within 50 feet of the proposed Heartland Recycling site and has an 11-year-old daughter at Harter Middle School. He has been working with about 20-plus residents who are against the proposed site through an email petition.

“We have an unofficial coalition,” Leader said. “It all depends on the board’s vote. I went on an unscheduled tour of the Heartland Recycling facility in Aurora. Not the tours they offered for the board. It looked like a bio-contamination. There’s silica dust, a byproduct of crushing concrete and a known carcinogen, in the air. This proposed site will be across the street from Harter Middle School with 1,100 sets of healthy lungs that are going to be outweighed by corporate greed.”

Leader submitted a PowerPoint presentation to the village and reported in his 97-slide presentation that according to The Associated Press four in five quarries involved with clean construction or demolition debris are reported to have higher levels of toxins than what is permitted.

Sugar Grove resident Tim Leuer lives on Harter Road and is very familiar with the Feltes property, which is 29.04 acres of the total 48.69 acres of the proposed Heartland Recycling Facility.

“Yes, we only can surmise their operating scheme by what they now do in Aurora,” Leuer said. “They charge between $40 to $100 to dump materials, depends on the size of the truck. They sell the recycled concrete for $6.50 to $8.50 a ton, depends on the size of the crushed material. That is how they generate their lion share of their income … by processing, not ‘filling.’ It appears they picked a site to crush concrete.”

Leuer added that the concrete could pose an additional problem.

“The only additional place they would have to put concrete would be in the lake,” Leuer said. “There’s no other place to put material. It would be a crime against the community and nature to fill the lake. There are three huge piles of pristine gravel on the property. We don’t need polluted concrete.”

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