Waste Management and environmental group announce plan
to transform CID Landfill into ‘Gateway Park’
Former adversaries come together on model environmental
and financial redevelopment plan
Chicago, IL— Waste Management of Illinois, Inc.
and the New Calumet Study Committee announced that they have reached
agreement on a model urban redevelopment project, providing a $20-million
community benefit and establishing the manner in which the company will
close the CID Landfill on Chicago’s Southeast Side and re-open
it as a community park and recreation area.
Under terms of the agreement, the CID Landfill at 130th
Street and the Bishop Ford Freeway will close with significantly higher
environmental standards than required by law. The company has also agreed
to contribute environmentally significant land to the community, provide
much-needed funds for neighborhood programs by sharing 50 percent of
the profit from the redevelopment project and create up to 150 new jobs
at a new recycling facility.
The New Calumet Study Group was founded by environmentalists
who in the past opposed Waste Management’s operation of the landfill
and plans to extend its life. The group approached Waste Management
after learning of the company’s announced proposal to close the
facility and transform it into a park after a five-year period. The
study group developed an independent community-based proposal seeking
additional assurances from the company, which has been adopted by Waste
Key features of the Waste Management proposal and the
Lake Calumet Study Group terms accepted by the company include:
•Redevelopment of the closed landfill into “Gateway
Park,” a 200-acre park and recreational gateway to the city on
the southeast side.
•Closure of the landfill for disposal use in five years.
•$16 million in cash generated by the facility over the five years
during which the site would accept a mixture of soil and residential
waste before being shaped into a recreational facility.
•Creation of the locally-based Calumet People and Environmental
Foundation to distribute proceeds from the $16 million endowment for
environmental, health, educational and other community programs.
•Donation of the 276-acre “Big Marsh” wetlands area
to the community.
•Approximately $2 million in additional value related to the significantly
higher environmental closure standards for cap and liner systems, as
requested by the New Calumet Study Group.
•Approximately 150 new jobs for the community in the new CID recycling
facility, which represents millions of dollars in wages and benefits
for area residents.
•And the establishment of a new center at the site to promote
the development of new environmental technologies.
Dr. James Landing, a UIC professor long active in environmental
issues in the Calumet Region and co-founder of the New Calumet Study
Group, said the redevelopment proposal is the right choice for the community.
“It’s likely that Waste Management could
have kept the landfill open for several more years by challenging its
right to expand on property it owns. This is by far the best outcome
for the community, which stands to reap the huge benefits of this proposal
for generations to come. With our agreement, we know that the landfill
will close forever on a date certain in only five years. At a time when
the city and state are strapped for cash, this project will provide
hundreds of acres of new open lands and financial benefits for the community
that would otherwise be lost,” said Landing.
Waste Management spokesperson Bill Plunkett further explained,
“The Study Committee’s proposal creates a unique model for
community and corporate cooperation. It reclaims the land for future
generations, giving hundreds of acres to be incorporated into the Calumet
Open Space Reserve back to the public. Additionally, it offers numerous
environmental and financial benefits to the community, it does not expand
the landfill’s areas but is contained to the site’s existing
footprint, and it won’t cost Chicago a penny. In fact, we know
of no other landfill redevelopment agreement in the country that offers
such benefits over such a short time.”