Updated Aug. 21, 2012 – 12:55 p.m.
Come September, the village of North Riverside will be paying less to have residents’ garbage, yard waste and recycling picked up – along with a change in the day the waste is hauled away and the company doing the job.
On Aug. 13, the village board voted 5 to 0 (Trustee Randy Czajka was absent) to hire Roy Strom Co. of Maywood as North Riverside’s waste hauler, ending a decades-long relationship with Allied Waste (formerly BFI).
Allied Waste’s last pickup day in North Riverside will be Tuesday, Aug. 28. Strom will take over that next week, but the pickup day will now be Friday. However, Strom’s first pickup day will be Saturday, Sept. 8 because of the Labor Day holiday that week.
Residents will be receiving new 96-gallon carts for general household waste and 64-gallon carts for recyclables. Residents can request smaller carts. The village will soon be sending out a letter to single-family households explaining the changeover.
Roy Strom’s bid of $18.04 per single-family household per month was the lowest of four submitted to the village, which requested proposals as its contract with Allied Waste expired June 30. The company extended its service two months as the village sought proposals for a new contract.
The village also received proposals from Allied Waste, Waste Management and Lakeshore Waste Services.
Lakeshore came in with the second-lowest bid at $19 per month, while Allied came in at $19.85 and Waste Management at $20.95.
“The bottom line became the cost,” said North Riverside Village Administrator Guy Belmonte. “Roy Strom came in very competitive.”
The five-year deal is expected to save the village about $123,300 during the first year of the contract, and it will save the village another $100,000 over the life of the deal because of the way recyclables will now be collected.
With the move to Roy Strom, the village is getting rid of its blue bag program. Instead of separating paper and non-paper recyclables into separate blue bags, all recyclables can be deposited into the new rollout carts. The village previously would have to spend between $20,000 and $30,000 per year on blue bags, which were given to residents for free.
While the village is expected to begin saving money immediately, the savings won’t be passed along to residents, at least during the current fiscal year. Residents will continue to be charged $23 per household per month, according to Belmonte, unless village trustees vote to lower rates.
All of the proposals submitted to the village were lower than what the village currently pays for waste hauling services. In the final year of its contract with North Riverside, Allied Waste charged $22.87 per month per household.
That means in the first year of its contract with the village, Roy Strom will be charging the village $4.83 less per household per month. In each subsequent year of the contract, the charge will increase by 2.85 percent of the rate of the consumer price index, whichever is higher. In recent years, the CPI has been lower than 2.85 percent.
Assuming a 2.85 percent annual increase, said Belmonte, at the end of its contract Roy Strom would be charging just 20 cents more per month per household than Allied is charging now.
“With this price, we’ll probably not have to raise garbage rates for a couple of years, we can save money in that account for the future,” said Belmonte, indicating that the village’s refuse enterprise fund, which traditionally has been a money loser for the village, can be stabilized with the new contract.
The village’s practice of subsidizing at least a portion of residents’ garbage pickup led in the past to large deficits in the village’s refuse enterprise fund. Until recently, North Riverside subsidized as much as two-thirds of garbage pickup costs.
In fiscal years 2009 and 2010, the village ran a deficit of about $200,000 in its refuse fund. In fiscal year 2011, with the village tightening its subsidy policy, the fund ran a deficit of about $26,000.
The village made that fund whole each year by transferring money to it from its general operating fund. Without the need for such transfers in the future, that money can now be spent on day-to-day operations.
“For years we subsidized that account,” said Belmonte. “The last few years we brought it back to where residents were paying the bill.”