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New toters part of DeKalb garbage contract

Published: Friday, July 12, 2013 11:06 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, July 12, 2013 10:18 p.m. CDT

DeKALB – DeKalb residents have until July 20 to decide what kind of garbage can they want from Waste Management.

The garbage can, called a toter, is a new feature of the city of DeKalb’s contract with Waste Management. DeKalb Public Works Director T.J. Moore said the tall bins with wheels and attached lids are a win for the city, the company and residents.

“Toters have been around for a long time,” Moore said. “A lot of communities have moved toward them and waste haulers want to move toward them.”

Both Moore and Matt Hernandez, a municipal marketing manager with Waste Management, said the new receptacles will reduce the haulers’ injury risk as they can use the truck’s automated arm to lift the cans.

Adding toters to 8,300 DeKalb households means rates will go up.

Under the five-year agreement city officials signed with Waste Management, the garbage rate will increase from $16.45 to $17.15 quarterly during the first year. The new contract goes into effect Sept. 1. Moore said the rate will increase 2.5 percent annually, with residents paying $18.90 quarterly toward the end of the contract.

“That’s their cost of doing business,” Moore said. “They have labor agreements, they have equipment and maintenance. ... They have a lot of costs. But they have a lot of things that do increase annually, which is their labor agreements.”

Moore said about one-third of DeKalb households were renting the toters at an additional cost. Under this new program, DeKalb residents will stop paying the fee, but keep their toters. The toters will be distributed the week of Sept. 9.

Residents can choose among three sizes: 35 gallons, 64 gallons or 96 gallons. Recycle toters are available in 35-gallon and 64-gallon sizes. Residents who do not submit the postcard mailed with the joint letter will receive a 96-gallon garbage toter and a 64-gallon recycling toter.

“We’re really encouraging people to go with the biggest sizes,” Moore said.

Moore said he hopes the bigger bins will encourage people to recycle more. Not only is that good from an environmental standpoint, but an increased recycling rate could allow the city to maintain flat rates for garbage in the future.

Decision deadline

DeKalb residents have until July 20 to decide which kind of garbage and recycling toter they want. If they do not indicate their preference, they will receive a 98-gallon garbage toter and a 64-gallon recycling toter.

For questions, contact DeKalb Public Works at 815-748-2040 or Waste Management at 800-796-9696.

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