In this video press conference series, West Liberty Foods celebrated being certified a landfill-free company at the Bolingbrook, Ill. facility where a number of speakers highlighted the process and thanked the participants.
Roger Claar, Mayor of Bolingbrook, Illinois: I’m a really hands-on guy as mayor. I’m very proud to be here, and I’m very proud you chose to be here. We spent a lot of time in meetings talking about it. I was thrilled when it got done. I was thrilled when you brought the cold storage facility here. [I was thrilled] about the jobs, the company. In fact, I asked Ed [Garrett, CEO]], “where did you the name West Liberty?” I thought it was a patriotic thing. Liberty is a great name. [Garrett’s response was], “We started at West Liberty Island.” I’m thinking, “I wish you started here. It would be Bolingbrook Foods.” Anyway, I want to congratulate you on what you’ve done. I’m here on behalf of our 76,000 residents here in Bolingbrook, Ill.
Bolingbrook has been Money Magazine’s Top 100 Communities for eight years running. Only two in the state of Illinois: Naperville and Bolingbrook. That’s because of what’s happened here. A lot of reasons: jobs, industries, the schools, the parks, the libraries, the township, the airport, the mall, the hospital. All those things drive a good community and we have all those things. We did some planning, and on the reverse side of I-55, we have Remington Boulevard. It runs from 53 to Weber Road and actually passed. On the south side, we have Crossroads Parkway, which runs from Joliet Road all the way to Weber Road. Those are our two business parts. We’re very proud of that, and they are almost filled. We have 35 million square feet of buildings like this in Bolingbrook now, and we are about out of real estate, but it’s good. On 53 up north, we have ATI [Physical Therapy] headquarters. Ulta products headquarters are here in Bolingbrook. WeatherTech… I think most people have heard of WeatherTech. You can’t get away from it. On the south side, we have G&W Electric, General Converting, Southern Wine and Spirits… of course, there are many, many others, and now Liberty Cold plus West Liberty Foods. When it was vacated, we were very concerned years ago, so we were thrilled when Ed called and said, “We are looking at your building.” I said, “Well, we got to make this happen.” It’s great to see products from here ship all over the country and in some cases all over the world.
A comment about the landfill-free… as a people worldwide and certainly of this country, we take some things for granted, and that is changing much more than people fully understand. We turn on the water, and we expect water to come out. We don’t really care where it comes from, but it better be there. We use our phones; we use electricity; we use natural gas. We take that for granted, and waste is something that we have taken for granted for 200 years. That has to change. What you are doing is making that change happen. We can’t keep building landfills, and we have to be a lot smarter. Recycling costs money. We have recycling home pick up, and it doesn’t make money. They look at me and say, “why not?” When is the last time you went to Office Max and bought a recycled pad of paper? They look at you like “never have.” Well, until you buy recycled products, the problem is going to continue. The cost of water is going to go up. The cost of waste water is going to go up. We need to change that attitude, and West Liberty gets it. This is exactly what we want to see corporate America do, but we also want to see all of your as individuals. Recycle and eliminate the waste, or we are going to have significant problems for the next generation or the generation to follow.
West Liberty gets it, and I want to thank you for coming here. Really, this is a kick for a mayor like me. I congratulate you.
For more videos on West Liberty Foods Bolingbrook facility’s landfill-free certification, click here.