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Local News

Joliet gets more recycling service in new Waste Management contract

The Joliet City Council approved a new Waste Management contract on Tuesday.
The Joliet City Council approved a new Waste Management contract on Tuesday.

JOLIET – Joliet residents in January will start getting weekly recycling pickup and “At Your Door” service for electronics and household hazardous wastes.

Those are two of the features in a 10-year contract with Waste Management approved by the City Council on Tuesday.

The contract does not bring back alley pickup lost by some residents in the last Waste Management contract seven years ago.

“Aside from that, this is a tremendous contract,” Mayor Bob O’Dekirk said. “We are paying less and getting more in return. I think this is an example of government working.”

The $133 million contract actually will cost the city less than it is paying now until the year 2024.

The city now pays a monthly unit price of $24.60, which reflects the contract cost per Joliet customer. In January, that price will go down to $21.70.

Unit cost reaches $24.55 in 2023 and then passes the current rate in 2024, when it goes to $25.16. In 2027, the last year of the contract, unit cost goes to $27.10.

The cost to the city is not the same as what residents pay.

Residents pay $25.20 a month ($19.20 for seniors) for garbage service to the city, which then pays Waste Management.

Residents will not lose any services.

They will gain weekly recycling pickup, which Councilman Larry Hug said people have been “screaming for.” Waste Management now picks up recyclables every two weeks.

Residents also will get the “At Your Door” service provided by Waste Management, which picks up electronics and household waste at the front door when customers ask for it.

The city now has no household service for electronics, which cannot be put out with the garbage, and no service at all for household hazardous wastes. Joliet does provide a central site for electronics recycling that is open periodically.

Waste Management in the last contract stopped alley pickup in all areas except those where it was determined that street parking was too dense for curbside pickup. O’Dekirk and Councilwoman Jan Quillman said residents have wanted it back.

Interim City Manager Marty Shanahan said the staff committee that worked on the contract did not recommend a return to alley pickup because of an estimated $6 million cost to the city to make alleys truck-ready.

“We’d essentially have to turn them into roadways because of the trucks – the garbage trucks,” Shanahan said.

Shanahan said alley pickup would have added $1.17 to the unit cost in the contract.

Waste Management bid against Republic Services for the contract.

The Republic bid was a $175 million proposal that would have started at a unit cost of $27.84 next year and gone to $36.35 in 2027.

“We’re going to average less per month over the 10 years than we currently pay,” Hug said. “That was accomplished through the bidding process.”

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