Have you ever noticed how ideas almost always sound good in the beginning, but then as you consider the pitfalls, ramifications, speed bumps, and unintended consequences, those great ideas aren’t as appealing. Successful businesses and families are successful because those considerations are given high priority in the decision-making process.
It doesn’t necessarily work that way in government, where the decision-making process has two components, 1) let’s do it, and 2) there is no ‘off’ position on the funding pipeline. Foolish indeed, but that’s where the State of Illinois, the City of Naperville, and Naperville’s household hazardous waste facility find themselves. The funding pipeline has been narrowed, with more narrowing likely to come. Naperville’s facility, located on Fort Hill Drive, might be forced to cut hours of operation, or close unless ‘needed’ funding can be found to keep it up and running.
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) which previously funded operations, has capped the expense in 2018 to less than half what it paid in 2017. Naperville’s facility was the first to open in Illinois, followed by Rockford and Chicago. The IEPA has contracted with Naperville to pick-up, transport, and ultimately dispose of the hazardous materials that have been dropped off at the site by residents from surrounding communities, primarily in DuPage, Will, and Kane counties.
The idea of the facility sounded great, at the time, and maybe it could have been, but it hasn’t turned out that way. I am reminded of the Universal Epitaph that could be written on all headstones in cemeteries, “At the time, I thought it was a good idea”