File Photo – Open Burning | Photo:

New open burning restrictions for unincorporated Lake County and new consolidated waste services in certain areas will go into effect starting June 1, county officials said.

The Lake County Board approved new burning restrictions in January.

The restrictions aim to reduce the health impacts of smoke exposure from open burning, county officials said.

The permanent open burning ordinance for unincorporated Lake County residents and businesses will be effective June 1.

Under the new ordinance, recreational wood-burning fires no larger than three feet by three feet by three feet used for warming, cooking and other recreational purposes are allowed in unincorporated Lake County.

Residents and businesses in unincorporated areas are no longer allowed to burn non-woody yard waste, like leaves and grass.

Burning garbage, refuse or construction materials remains prohibited.

Woody yard waste, which generally consists of sticks, branches and tree limbs, can be burned during the daylight hours between November 1 and March 31 annually.

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New consolidated waste services for certain townships in unincorporated areas will also begin on June 1 after the county established agreements with Groot Industries and Lakeshore Recycling Systems (LRS).

The waste service agreements were made to anticipate many residents needing an alternative option of disposing landscape waste due to the new ordinance.

Both Groot and LRS will provide garbage and recycling services along with optional landscape waste pick-up services.

Groot is the new waste hauler for unincorporated areas in Antioch, Benton, Grant, Newport, Waukegan and Zion Townships.

LRS is the new waste hauler for unincorporated areas in Cuba, Libertyville, Moraine, Vernon and Wauconda Townships.

Residents in these townships are subject to the county’s new agreement unless they live in a neighborhood with a home owner’s association (HOA) and the HOA has a single contract with a specific hauler that covers all residences within the HOA effective before January 11.

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Avon, Ela, Fremont, Lake Villa, Shields and Warren Townships will continue to have their own waste hauler agreements for unincorporated residents.

Bins for new Groot and LRS customers will be distributed starting Monday.

Officials say the new consolidated services are better for local roads because there will be fewer haulers on the streets per week, and the consolidation will reduce greenhouse gas impacts.

The county negotiated price-competitive waste service agreements with Groot and LRS.

Most unincorporated residents will see a decrease in their waste hauling rate, ranging on average between $240 and $310 annually.

Both haulers offer a 10% senior discount and there’s a limit on how much a resident’s bill can be increased annually to prevent large increases, officials said.

Lake County was the only county in the Chicago metro area that had no restrictions on burning yard waste for unincorporated areas before the new ordinance.

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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated recreational wood-burning fires no larger than three inches by three inches by three inches are allowed under the new ordinance. This is incorrect and the ordinance states recreational wood-burning fires no larger than three feet by three feet by three feet are allowed. We regret the error.