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Aldermen to explore new options to manage trash pickup, programs

DeKALB – Trash will be the topic of discussion at Monday’s DeKalb City Council meeting.

Aldermen are scheduled to consider two new programs that will bring in revenue, and will also vote on a new four-year contract with Waste Management of Illinois Inc. for residential trash pickup.

One new program may require commercial waste haulers to get a license to do business in the city. Other cities, including Sycamore, have license programs in place.

The city hopes that the $1,000-per-year license will help offset costs for street repairs. The wear and tear is often the result of the frequency of trips trucks make, Public Works Director Rick Monas said.

Waste Management is contracted by the city for residential trash, recycling and landscape waste, but there are six other firms picking up commercial waste that are currently unregulated, City Manager Mark Biernacki said.

Sycamore’s program, adopted in 2003, also charges commercial waste collectors $1,000 a year.

A second program under consideration is to impose a $25 fee when Dumpsters are placed on city streets.

Biernacki said that oftentimes residents doing home repairs, like roofing, don’t have room to put a Dumpster on their property. This can lead to gouges in the street and presents a safety concern as no barricades are set up, he said.

The contract with Waste Management is similar to what was originally proposed in May, with a 3-percent annual average increase for services. At that time, the city council asked that alternatives to the cost increase be looked at.

Waste Management offered an alternative plan based on consumer price index and fuel prices that the city felt was too risky.

“Given the ups and downs of fuel prices, to take that path would put residents at a disadvantage,” Biernacki said.

If the contract is approved, a part of it will be a “Toter” pilot program. Waste Management would be paying for each household in a designated pilot neighborhood to have two “Toters” – which are trash cans with lids and wheels – instead of open tubs for waste and recyclables.

The residents, at their choice, can try out the new containers for six months and evaluate their use. The goal is two-fold: to increase recycling and improve the appearance of the neighborhood, Biernacki said.

The pilot neighborhood will be bounded by Taylor Street, Charter Street, Fourth Street and Seventh Street. After the test period, the city can choose to buy Toters from Waste Management and implement them citywide. The Toters will likely be distributed in October.

Also on the agenda for Monday’s DeKalb City Council meeting:

The city’s new Web site will be unveiled and implemented, pending council approval. It was designed by Assistant City Manager Rudy Espiritu and will be more interactive with an upgraded appearance, including the new city logo, he said. Channel 14 will be streamlined to provide greater access to view public meetings.

Aldermen will be asked to spend $322,000 for a pedestrian pass-through to provide access from the Frank Van Buer Plaza to Lincoln Highway. Four bids were received, and the low bid was 2 percent under architect estimates. The pass-through, at the former 231 E. Lincoln Highway building that was demolished in 2007, will include brick walkways, seating areas, plaques and colored, decorative lighting. Work should begin soon, City Engineer Joel Maurer said, and will finish by December.

If You Go

What: DeKalb City Council meeting

When: 6 p.m. Monday

Where: DeKalb Municipal Building, 200

S. Fourth St. in DeKalb

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