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City Begins Outlining New Waste Contract

Bid to hit the streets in late summer.

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.

Concerned Resident April 10, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Pls let's not benchmark our negociating a new contract on Bloomingdale's 3.8% YEARLY increase...are you kidding me? We should be getting MORE for LESS...(remember, they are getting all of our recyclables which are valuable!) Let Elmhurst be a leader...and be sure whomever is responsible for this contract knows how to negociate and think outside the box!!
Concerned Resident April 10, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Continued...I think a minimalist package of refuse, recycle and yard waste should be negociated for seniors and empty nesters...and value priced a la carte add on options for others. Also, leaf pick up needs to be improved & our date for spring clean up/pick up is way to early...thoughts??
Carol Kania Morency April 10, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Todd, while composting was not yet part of the refuse contract discussion, city staff did reply to a resident's question about yard waste. Right now, the city will take up to two free bundles each week. The city does not offer a place for residents to take their larger amounts of yard waste (unless a special pick up has been arranged after a storm). The city does recycle chipped wood from trees or branches that the city removes and these chips are available to residents for free. According to the city's website, the chips are located at Butterfield Park at the base of the water tower on the west end of the parking lot.
RobertAWilson April 10, 2012 at 07:24 PM
There's a difference between yard waste and bundled twigs. Carol, you are talking about curbside twig pick-up. I looked on the city website and found your answere here: http://elmhurst.org/index.aspx?NID=479. The yard waste hauler compostes all yard waste.
Jim Court April 11, 2012 at 02:29 AM
It should be indicated, right below the leave a comment header, that you must sign in before you make a comment. I have written many responses under the leave a comment box, and when I am done, I am asked to sign in. When I do, all that I have written disappears. Try it yourself, What is strange is that it does not cause what I have written to disappear every time. I am about ready to give up writing which might make a few people happy, including me.

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