Gurnee’s eco-responsible companies will be rewarded
In addition to helping the environment, there is a new benefit for businesses in Gurnee striving to be more environmentally friendly.
The Village Environmental Sustainability Committee is presenting the Green Gurnee Awards, which will recognize businesses in the Village that implement green initiatives.
Committee members spoke at the regular Gurnee Village Board meeting on Monday, updating the Board on what the committee has been working on over the past year and updating members on the rewards initiative.
Companies can apply on the village’s website. Committee member Shelley Lazarus said the committee was still in the “testing phase” of setting up the new initiative, but was ready to start accepting applications.
“We are ready to accept applications at any time, but we are still in the process of fine-tuning,” she said.
Lazarus that the idea for the awards was dreamed up during one of the committee’s monthly virtual meetings, “as a way to encourage businesses to be more environmentally sustainable.”
To be considered for a Green Gurnee award, companies must complete an online application – or a nominator will complete an application on behalf of the company – in which they check off eligible activities that would result in points.
Using organic cleaning products would earn one point, and composting food waste would earn five points, for example. Another requirement for businesses wishing to be considered for a Green Gurnee award is that they must also participate in Waste Management’s free recycling program for businesses.
Rewards are awarded on a point scale. Companies that score between 20 and 25 points will receive a bronze award, silver awards will go to companies that score between 26 and 34 points, and any company that scores above 35 points is eligible for a gold award.
Bronze winners will receive a Certificate of Excellence made out to the company, signed by Mayor Tom Hood, a bronze colored window decal that recognizes the achievement and the company logo on the committee page of environmental sustainability on the village website.
Silver winners will receive all of this, with the bronze window decal redeemed with a silver window decal, along with notification of the business designation in the Village’s weekly announcements and its social media accounts.
Gold winners will receive all but a gold window decal instead of bronze and silver, plus an invite to appear on the 102.3 XLC morning radio show and automatic entry into the prizes Best of Gurnee.
Lazarus said that if a company receives a silver or bronze award, it can still be moved to a gold ranking if it takes enough initiatives to reach 35 points.
“We’re very flexible and hope people will push for gold,” Lazarus said. “We would always be prepared to revise a ranking.”
The Environmental Sustainability Committee was formed in 2020, after receiving approval from the Village Council, to assist the Village in its efforts to implement more environmentally friendly initiatives.
“With all the things that we do, with the bases, and the police and fire, public works, often the environment is pushed aside and it’s not our main focus, but I think this committee is doing some good job keeping us on track,” Hood said. “We want to bequeath a community to future generations.
In addition to the prizes, the committee is also preparing to hold its third polystyrene recycling event on September 17 at the Village Hall. The committee partnered with Dart Container Corp., the world’s largest producer of polystyrene cups and containers, for the event, and the company donated a semi-truck that the committee filled with the materials. polystyrene donated.
The committee’s first polystyrene recycling event took place in December 2021, where Lazare said the committee was able to fill about half a semi-truck with polystyrene for recycling. At the second event, held in April this year, the committee gathered enough polystyrene to fill more than three-quarters of a semi-truck, according to Lazarus. They hope to recycle even more at the upcoming event.
During the meeting, Lazarus explained that it takes around 500 years for polystyrene to decompose and that because it is such a large material, it takes up a lot of space in landfills when it is stored. is not recycled properly.
“Our goal is for this to be a regular occurrence for the village because there is a demand for it,” Lazarus said.