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Aldermen to vote on trash fee hikes

Evanston aldermen are scheduled to vote tonight on a plan to increase trash hauling fees.

The plan would raise the fee for refuse pickup from $6.95 to $10.95 per month for residents who choose to keep using the 95-gallon wheeled refuse cart now standard across the city.

Residents who opted for a new, smaller, 65-gallon cart would continue to pay the current $6.95 rate.

Evanston aldermen are scheduled to vote tonight on a plan to increase trash hauling fees.

The plan would raise the fee for refuse pickup from $6.95 to $10.95 per month for residents who choose to keep using the 95-gallon wheeled refuse cart now standard across the city.

Residents who opted for a new, smaller, 65-gallon cart would continue to pay the current $6.95 rate.

The rate for having an additional refuse cart would increase from $2.50 to $6.95 per month.

The plan, which has been under consideration for several months, is designed to raise new revenue to help close the city’s $9.5 million budget gap. The city’s budget documents peg the revenue increase at $500,000 but a memo explaining the rate hike ordinance estimates the increase at $700,000.

The ordinance under consideration tonight would also create a new charge for yard waste pickup.

That plan would give residents the option of purchasing a yard waste cart for $82.50 and then paying $25 a year to have it emptied.

Alternatively, residents could buy stickers to place on yard waste bags at a cost of $1.75 each.

Interim Public Works Director Suzette Eggleston says the cart program is designed to be cheaper than using stickers on bags because the carts eliminate the need for sanitation workers to manually lift the bags. That in turn is expected to reduce the city’s workers compensation costs.

The new revenue from the yard waste pickup program is estimated at between $950,000 and $1 million.

The rate increases will cut the general fund tax subsidy required to operate the city’s trash collection service.

The city now receives about $1.6 million in revenue from trash services but spends around $5 million on the programs. The new fees would raise the revenue generated to roughly $3.3 million.

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