Evanston could save some money and condo owners would get free dumpsters under a proposed new trash hauling agreement for the city’s nearly 5,000 condominums.

The City Council’s Administration and Public Works Committee is expected to take another look at the proposal Feb. 27 after postpoining action on it at Monday’s meeting.

Flood Brothers Disposal Company of Oak Brook Terrace offered the low bid for the job, of $6.98 per month per unit, compared to $8.16 bid by the current contractor, Onyx Waste Services of Northbrook. Flood’s bid is also about 9 percent less than what Onyx gets under the current agreement.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, said “I have no favorite vendor here, but this will be a major changeover, and I have no clue who Flood Brothers is.” She said she wants a list of cities the company serves and what its reputation is.

City staff, in evaluating proposals from several competing firms, concluded that Flood had the best customer service rating as well as the best price.

Flood, unlike other vendors, also has said it will provide dumpsters at no cost to condo owners or the city. Onyx now leases dumpsters to condo owners.

The proposed four-year contract includes cost of living rate increases, capped at 5 percent per year.

Mayor Lorraine Morton said she sees dumpsters “all piled up with stuff and overflowing. We don’t want rats again. We should not permit overflows.” If the haulers drop debris, they must clean it up, she added.

Public Works Director David Jennings said the contractor will have to provide enough dumpsters to meet the demand for refuse service with pickups twice a week. “The recommended contractor has surveyed all the locations and knows what he needs to put out,” Mr. Jennings said.

Recycling fee hike delayed

The aldermen also postponed action Monday on a staff proposal to raise the recycling charge tacked on to city water bills from $2.86 to $3.72 per month.

Alderman Cheryl Wollin, 1st Ward, said, “We don’t want to give anybody a disincentive to recycle.”

City Manager Julia Carroll said, “We’d prefer to switch to a garbage charge, but now we have to cover the costs in this particular contract for this year. The only reason we’re proposing this is that we didn’t have time to look at the overall program during the budget preparation cycle.”

Ald. Rainey suggested charging for hauling away yard waste, “which we shouldn’t be collecting anyway. People could compost it in their yards.”

Ms. Carroll said a new public works superintendent will be joining the city shortly, and that the new person will need to review all of the city’s garbage collection programs.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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