Trash hauler Groot Industries last week offered to buy the Evanston Recycling Center on Oakton Street, but an alderman says a sale to Groot would only happen “over my dead body.”
The comment came Monday night from Alderman Ann Rainey, whose 8th Ward includes the site of the shuttered recycling center at 2222 Oakton St.
The city has been seeking potential new uses for the center, but there was no indication Monday night of support from aldermen for the unsolicited proposal from Groot to turn the property into a transfer station.
Many residents have complained for years about odor and other problems stemming from operations of the only current waste transfer station in the city, at 1711 Church St.
The Groot offer came as part of discussions with city staff about a potential renewal of the company’s trash hauling contracts with the city, which are scheduled to expire in October. The city faces an April deadline for telling Groot whether it plans to renew the agreements.
Suzette Robinson points toward the screen during her presentation on solid waste operations.
Public Works Director Suzette Robinson, in a presentation to aldermen, outlined several options for trying to expand waste services while reducing the roughly $1 million dollar shortfall in operating revenue over costs.
She suggested adding a multi-family recycling program, which — depending on the charge to building owners — could bring in $500,000 or more a year while adding only about $215,000 in costs.
And she proposed a new textiles recycling drop off or collection program operated by city crews, saying textiles account for about 4 percent of the residential waste stream.
She also said that Groot was proposing to collect food scraps as part of the yard waste cart collection program, and she suggested quadrupling the yard waste cart fee from $25 to $100 to cover the cost of that program.
More broadly, Robinson said she planned to meet this week with Skokie officials to discuss whether the two communities could achieve any economies of scale in combining their solid waste operations.
The City Council is scheduled to have a further discussion of solid waste disposal options next month.