City Council members are scheduled to vote Monday night on a contract that would bring a doorstep recycling program for textiles and many other household goods to Evanston.

The proposed sole-source agreement is with a company called Simple Recycling, which already offers its service in Skokie and some other Chicago suburbs as well as in certain other metro areas.

A city staff memo says the company has recently changed its business model from using branded bags for curbside pickup on regular weekly trash pickup days to asking residents to schedule pickups online or by phone.

The city’s solid waste coordinator, Brian Zimmerman, says that change makes it hard to predict how much usage the service will get in Evanston.

But he says Skokie, with about 14,000 eligible households, has averaged 500 pickups per month under the old system, collecting about 6,500 pounds of material per month.

Evanston, with about 20,000 eligible households, might generate more usage — if the new business model doesn’t reduce participation.

(Households in apartment buildings that use dumpsters for trash pickup would not be eligible for the program.)

The city would get a 5-cent revenue share for each pickup and would avoid having to pay disposal fees on the items diverted from landfills. But Zimmerman projects the revenue impact for the city would be very modest — roughly $2,000 to $4,000 per year.

In addition to textiles, Simple Recycling would accept a range of other items that weigh less than 50 pounds.

These so-called “soft recyclables,” he said, include jewelry, shoes, purses, hats, toys, pictures, mirrors, small furniture and appliances and electronic equipment.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. We have a Goodwill and have recently approved a new Salvation Army store on Howard. These two retailers employ Evanston residents and pay taxes. We need to support these two businesses before handing a scavenger service a free spin.

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