The Public Works and Buildings Committee on Monday asked staff to take a first stab at describing what the city wants to see in a new refuse and recycling contract, which will go out for bid in August or September. This first draft will likely be the basis for the request for proposals to waste companies.
The city is currently in the fourth year of a five-year contract with Allied Waste/Republic Services. Committee members told Public Works Director Mike Hughes that they wanted to stick with a modified volume system, where each household can dispose of one 33-gallon can or bag of waste but must purchase stickers for any other waste disposal or for yard waste.
Committee members also wanted to look into providing other container options. Right now, families have the option of buying a 96-gallon toter for an additional cost.
Hughes reported that some towns are taking advantage of the low Consumer Price Index and locking in longer-term contracts. The village of Bloomingdale, for instance, approved a seven-year contract earlier this year that averaged about a 3.8 percent increase per year, Hughes said.
Chairman and 6th Ward Alderman Jim Kennedy said that Republic provides good service, does not cost the city extra staff time to deal with customer complaints and is reliable when special services, such as post-storm brush pick up, are needed.
According to Hughes, city staff rarely deal with problems beyond residents not getting their waste to the curb in time for pick up.
While residents are no longer able to dispose of electronics in their curbside waste, the city has been looking into services to make it easy to get rid of old computers, printers and scanners. Hughes confirmed that Elmhurst College is likely to offer a monthly electronic waste pick up.
Anyone needing immediate disposal for their old VCR or television can drop off items at Elmhurst College on Saturday during its annual event.