Chesterton Tribune

Garbage fees to drop; free rollaways for trash and recycling

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Beginning on Jan. 1, a Chesterton resident’s total monthly refuse and recycling bill—including the sanitation fee for leaf and brush collection—will be $1.07 less than it is now.

And folks will be getting two 95-gallon roll-away trash cans—one for garbage and the other for recycling—at no cost.

At its meeting Monday night, the Town Council voted 5-0 to award the next three-year refuse and recycling contract to Republic Services d/b/a Able Disposal.

Members then voted 5-0 to raise the monthly sanitation fee from the current 47 cents to $1.00.

The math works this way.

The council awarded Republic d/b/a Able its Alternate Bid No. 1: $13.93 in the first year (compared to the current rate of $15.53, for a decrease of a little more than 10 percent); $14.28 in the second year; and $14.64 in the third year.

Bottom line: three years from now folks will be paying less for trash collection than they are right now.

But, as Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg said, the costs to the Street Department—in fuel and equipment—of collecting leaves and brush and of streetsweeping continue to rise. So it’s necessary at the same time to increase the monthly sanitation fee from 47 cents to $1.00.

But add that $1.00 to the $13.93 which folks will be paying for Able’s services in the New Year, and residents will still be coming out ahead: $14.93 in 2012 compared to $16.00 now, for an overall decrease of $1.07 or nearly 7 percent.

In addition, the bid specs provide for every household in town to receive a pair of 95-gallon roll-away cans, one for garbage and the other for recycling. Refuse will be collected every week as usual but—because the roll-away can is far larger than the old yellow recycling bins—recycling will be collected every other week.

Folks can keep their yellow bins and—as Schnadenberg suggested—use them as a staging area in the house for later transfer to the recycling roll-away.

But Able will not be collecting recycling from the yellow bins anymore. “They’re trying to get automated,” Schnadenberg said. “”That’s why we got the price we did.”

Folks who right now are renting the rollaway cans from Able will save even more next year: the $36 annual fee.

The use of the big roll-aways should go a long way to solving the biggest litter problem in town, Schnadenberg added: the blowing of trash and recyclables through a neighborhood on windy days.

Grant Application

In other business, members voted 5-0 to authorize Schnadenberg to apply for a grant from the DNR which would fund Phase II of an inventory of the town’s public trees.

Phase I—the first half of the inventory—was completed last year through the same 50/50 grant but the town was not awarded the grant this year.

The grant would also fund the planting of some new trees.

Schnadenberg put the cost of completing the inventory at $3,750.



Posted 11/15/2011