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New refuse contract adds weekly recycling, electronic/household waste services

Brock A. Stein | 8/2/2017, 11:44 a.m.
The City of Joliet has approved a new 10-year contract with Waste Management for household garbage pick-up that will add ...

The City of Joliet has approved a new 10-year contract with Waste Management for household garbage pick-up that will add new services while also lowering the cost the city pays per household.

Under the terms of the new contract, the city will pay $21.70 for waste pick up starting in January 2018. The contract includes annual increases which will top out at $27.10 per month when the contract ends in 2027. The city currently pays $24.64 for waste pick up service per household.

Though that won’t translate to a lower bill, residents will receive new service enhancements under the new contract including expanded service hours, a change to a weekly recycling pick up schedule and the introduction of At Your Door electronic and household hazardous waste pick up. Residents will also continue to receive yard waste pick up and be able to throw out their Christmas trees (for composting), white goods and tires as they can do under the current contract.

Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk reiterated a point from Waste Management officials who said that the new contract will provide residents with the “most comprehensive program in the Chicago metropolitan area.”

In addition, the city will receive an annual $250,000 community support payment from Waste Management that interim city manager Martin Shanahan said would be allocated for its baseball stadium or the Rialto Square Theater.

Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk said that the city was getting “significant savings in light of the fact of all the additional services we’re getting.” He said the community funding would also help with capital improvements that will be needed at Slammer’s Stadium.

The city’s rates will also be lower than nearby towns like Lockport ($22.37) and Shorewood ($24) who offer similar refuse services for their residents.

The plan however does not restore alley pick up for residents in some parts of the city.

Shanahan said that restoration of that service would have required a significant monetary investment including about $200,000 for tree trimming and another $6 million in street resurfacing. He also estimated a 10-year cost of about $30 million to maintain the alleys which would have added about $1.17 for each household in the city.

O’Dekirk said that for those residents with alleys there are few good options for trash pick-up especially for homes without a driveway.

“It is difficult to get the garbage out unless you keep it up front to get it from the alley to the front of the house,” he said noting that the options range from “dragging” the garbage can through the yard to the front of the house or pulling it through the alley and down the street.

“And because we don’t plow the alleys in the winter time that becomes really difficult especially for senior citizens,” said the mayor.