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Big fee hikes proposed for trash removal

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Evanston city officials are recommending big increases to the city’s sanitation service charges.

In a memo to aldermen, Public Works Director Dave Stoneback says the city’s solid waste fund is running a deficit of roughly $1 million a year.

To eliminate that deficit, he’s recommending that fees for residential refuse hauling be increased by more than 17 percent.

The plan would raise the cost of a 95-gallon cart to $21.08 per month from $17.95. That fee was last increased four years ago. The cost of a 65-gallon cart, or an additional 95-gallon one, would rise from $7.95 per month to $9.33. That fee was last increased six years ago.

For condominiums, where rates now come closer to matching the cost of service, Stoneback is proposing a 4.43 percent rate hike — to $9.03 per unit from the current rate of $8.65.

The yard waste program, which now creates the biggest shortfall in the solid waste fund, would see the biggest fee increases.

Annual fees for a yard waste cart would rise from $25 to $60, and the cost of a yard waste bag sticker would increase from $1.75 to $5.50.

Stoneback also is proposing creation of a new fee for recycling collection at multi-family apartment buildings with six or more units — which would be a new service next year..

That fee is proposed to be $2.60 per unit per month.

Aldermen will be asked tonight to decide how much they want to actually increase the fees and direct staff to prepare rate hike ordinances for introduction at the Sept. 25 City Council meeting.

The Council tonight is also scheduled to review proposed new five-year waste hauling contracts, and then vote on them Sept. 25.

One new contract would assign residential refuse collection to Groot Industries, the current vendor and the low bidder.

Another gives condominium refuse collection to Lakeshore Recycling, the current vendor and the low bidder.

A third gives yard waste collection to Lakeshore, which underbid Groot, the current vendor, for that job.

And a contract for a new commercial food scrap collection program is recommended for award to Collective Resources, Inc. of Evanston  The fee for voluntary participants in that program would start at $47.67 for pick up of one container every other week.

Stoneback is also proposing that the city next year expand a city-operated pilot program of recycling pickups from apartment buildings with 6 or more units to cover all such properties in town.

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