Lakeshore Recycling Systems, City of DeKalb Partner to Reuse Leaves for Local Farmers

Benefits of tilling farms with local, reused leaves include a reduced risk of crop loss due to disease, flooding or drought

Morton Grove, Illinois, UNITED STATES

CHICAGO, Dec. 06, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lakeshore Recycling Systems (LRS), the Midwest’s leading independent recycling and waste diversion provider, today announced it is joining forces with the City of DeKalb to reuse leaves collected from DeKalb’s Loose Leaf Collection program in an effort to help farmers reduce the risk of crop loss due to disease, flooding or drought. 

In addition to waste collection and recycling, LRS serves DeKalb residents with a containerized yard waste and organics program, and an optional loose-leaf collection program in conjunction with the City of DeKalb. As part of the program, residents rake leaves to the curb where they are vacuumed into a special collection vehicle that grinds them. The ground leaves are then transported to local farms where they are spread and tilled into the farm. LRS oversees all disposal components of the service, ensuring the leaves are properly managed in accordance with state and federal regulations.

"Farmers have the ability to till a certain amount of organic material back into their farms which helps the soil,” said City of DeKalb Interim Street Superintendent Andy Raih. “This innovative and environmentally-friendly disposal process is a win-win for the City and our local farmers.”

“The reuse of leaves in this way is a very sustainable option for the City and we have coordinated locations that correspond with the leaf collection routes,” said LRS Municipal Manager Katie Neary. “We are always looking for ways to help our municipal customers to be self-sustaining and in this unique program, it’s great to see farmers benefiting.”

LRS also collects large tree branches and repurposes them. The trees collected, including trees used during the holidays, are converted to mulch at participating compost facilities. LRS will also be collecting holiday trees from the end of December to the end of January.

“We put our mission into practice each day, to provide our customers with environmentally responsible waste and recycling solutions through innovative processes. Our partnership with the City of DeKalb serves as a great example of innovative public-private collaboration,” said Lakeshore Recycling Systems CEO Alan T. Handley. “Other examples of innovation at LRS includes accepting and processing post-consumer organics, and the development of our aerobic digester that converts food waste into nutrient-rich soil amendment.”

About Lakeshore Recycling Systems

Lakeshore Recycling Systems is the largest privately held waste services company in Illinois and Wisconsin. Serving Chicagoland for nearly 20 years, LRS specializes in recycling and waste diversion programs, affordable roll-off container services, portable restroom rentals, mulch distribution, street sweeping, on-site storage options and comprehensive waste removal for businesses and residential homeowners in Chicago, northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Operating from 13 regional locations, LRS owns and operates nearly 15 Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs), a fleet of fuel-efficient natural gas-powered trucks, and is fueled by the passion of its more than 850 committed full-time employees.

LRS holds numerous industry honors and accolades, including: the 2018 Illinois Sustainability Award; the Chicago Public Schools' coveted Best Partnership Award; and ranks #35 on the latest Waste360 Top 100 Waste and Recycling Companies in North America. Controlling over 2.4 million tons-per-year, LRS does not own a landfill, diverts more waste from landfills than any other provider, and is focused on delivering safe, innovative, sustainability-focused services through a scalable business model. To learn more, visit

Company Contact: 
Meaghan Johnson 
Director of Marketing 
Lakeshore Recycling Systems 

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at 

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