Nearly 50,000 Rockford households will soon see a change in trash collection. It might not be a difference in service, but you'll pay more either way. Two companies made their offers, now city council decides.
We first told you about the city's garbage contract back in July. Rock River Disposal handles collection now, but its 13-year contract with the city is set to expire. Rock River Disposal wants to renew, but another company, Advanced Disposal, is competing for the job.
City staff members release their recommendations to aldermen for a new, seven-year contract. It comes down to four options.
Option #1 is As-is service. This means continued unlimited collection of refuse, bulk items, recycling and yard waste, plus keeping the existing 18-gallon recycle bins in place. Advanced Disposal is offering the cheapest price for that. The annual cost is $10,619,280 with a total cost of $74,334,960 over seven years. That's $11,656,400 less than Rock River Disposal's offer over seven years. With city charges, Advanced Disposal's offer adds up to $18.06 a month for each customer. A customer's current monthly bill is $15.50.
Option #2 is unlimited collection with vendor-purchased garbage and recycling totes. Residents will get unlimited collection of refuse, bulk items, recycling and yard waste, plus the option of choosing a 35, 65 or 95-gallon wheeled, lidded tote for both refuse and recycling. City staff recommends Advanced Disposal for this option. The annual cost is $11,418,960 with a total cost of $79,932,720 over seven years. That's $20,464,640 less than Rock River Disposal's offer over seven years. A customer's monthly bill will increase by $3.92, to $19.42 each month.
Option #3 is unlimited collection with city-purchased recycle totes. Customers get unlimited collection of refuse, bulk items, recycling and yard waste. The existing 18-gallon recycle bins would be replaced by wheeled, lidded totes purchases by the City. Residents have a choice of a 35, 65 or 95 gallon tote. Advanced Disposal is the lowest bidder. The annual cost is $10,819,200 with a total cost of $75,734,400 over seven years. This is $1,613,360 less than Rock River Disposal's offer over seven years. The city will charge customers $18.40 a month. That's a $2.90 per-month increase.
Option #4 is unlimited collection with vendor-purchased 32-gallon recycle cans. This includes unlimited collection of refuse, bulk items, recycling and yard waste. Existing 18-gallon recycle bins would be replaced by 32-gallon cans. City staff write in their recommendation, "It should be noted that under our current contract, most households have two, 18-gallon recycling bins, exceeding the 32-gallon option provided, so we do not anticipate a large increase in recycling rates. In this option, Advanced Disposal is slightly less than Rock River Disposal. However, staff believes the cost difference does not justify transitioning from the current provider. Our recommendation, if this option is chosen, would be to remain with Rock River Disposal." According to city numbers, the annual cost of Rock River Disposal's offer is $10,989,720 with a total cost of $75,241,040. A customer's monthly bill would be $18.86; a $3.36 increase from his or her current monthly bill.
City council members have until December 31st to pick a new garbage contract. Staff writes, "With either vendor, the City will realize a number of service additions over the existing contract," in areas like public garbage cans, dumpster service at city facilities, demolition debris, host fee donation, recycling revenue sharing, price adjustments and performance bond.
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