By Bob Uphues
Riverside trustees last month gave Village Manager Jessica Frances the go ahead to negotiate a contract extension for waste hauling and recycling services with Flood Brothers, which has served as the village's waste hauling vendor since 2015.
Flood Brother was awarded the contract five years ago after a competitive RFP process, and last fall the company approached Frances about the possibility of getting a seven-year extension on their deal.
In the months that followed, the company proposed providing additional services at no or low cost and also proposed freezing its rates until 2021. With those concessions, trustees at their Feb. 20 meeting gave Frances their blessing to move ahead with hammering out a contract extension.
Riversiders who live in single-family homes have been paying $20.98 per month for waste hauling/recycling. According to a memo from Frances to trustees last month, that will remain the rate residents will pay until June 2021.
After that the rate will increase annually by 2.75 percent. By the end of the contract in 2027, residents will be paying $24.69 per month for the service.
Flood Brothers will continue to offer free recycling of electronics, light bulbs and household batteries at the Riverside Public Works Department, and they will continue to offer senior citizens at 15-percent discount on rates.
The company has also agreed to provide some additional services to Riverside customers at no cost, the most notable of which is offering single-family property customers the ability to participate in the combined yard waste/food scrap composting program.
That program previously had been offered in Riverside at an extra cost. The only cost for those participating in the composting program is a $1.50-per-month charge for a 95-gallon cart for combining yard waste and food scraps.
It's not required for customers to have a Flood Brothers-supplied cart. They can use another container of their own, said Michael Flood, who handles business development for the company. But, customers can't use bags.
Less than 5 percent of Riverside customers participate in the current yard waste/food scrap program. The hope is that more will now that it's available at no additional cost. The combined yard waste/food scraps eventually end up at an organic farm for processing into a "bio-solid."
Flood said he is talking with local officials about a way to make finished compost available to residents via bulk drop at a village location.
"The composting at no additional cost is spectacular," said Trustee Edward Hannon during the village board's discussion of the contract extension last month. "A lot of the comments we've gotten have focused on how to become more eco-friendly, and this composting at no fee is a great commitment."
Trustee Wendell Jisa also complimented the company on its service to the community during the last five years.
In addition to expanding the composting program, Flood Brothers will also hold an annual pumpkin composting event in the fall at no charge to the village. Previously the village paid a fee for the event.
Flood Brothers will also hold an annual household hazardous waste disposal and paper shredding event at no cost to the village.
Finally, the company has agreed to offer back-door recycling cart collection for an additional fee. The company previously had offered only back-door trash cart collection for an additional fee.