ELMHURST – With alderman Michael Bram's absence, the Elmhurst City Council unanimously approved a Public Works and Buildings Committee report on Feb. 20 on rates residents will pay from April 1, 2018, to March 31, 2019, for refuse and recycling services.
The 13 aldermen present approved the report as part of the consent agenda, asking the city attorney to draw up paperwork they will approve at a future City Council meeting.
The city would charge a flat administrative fee on top of the rates in the refuse contract with Allied Waste of Melrose Park/Republic. The administrative fee would be used to cover the cost of the two unlimited leaf pickups that occur in the fall, street sweeping of leaves and the administration of the program, according to the report.
The administrative fee, as proposed in the report, would be $1.45 per month for all users and $0.47 per sticker for refuse and yard waste. With this fee, the newly attained 35-gallon toters would cost a $16.50 total monthly charge for collection. The 65-gallon toters would cost $17.20 total per month, and the 95-gallon toters would cost $22.29, according to the report. Last year's total monthly charge for 65-gallon toters was $17.76 and $23 per month for 95-gallon toters, the report stated. The total fee for refuse stickers and yard waste stickers would remain at $3.25, like last year's fee, per the report.
Bram had not signed off on the report at the Feb. 12 Public Works and Buildings Committee meeting. He had argued at the Feb. 5 City Council meeting that having a price per gallon for a 35-gallon toter that was more per gallon than a 95-gallon toter wasn't fair.
As approved at the Feb. 5 meeting, the monthly charge – without the administrative fee – for collection for a 35-gallon wheeled refuse cart with recycling toter is $15.05, or $0.43 per gallon, while the monthly charge for a 95-gallon toter is $20.84, or roughly $0.22 per gallon.
"If we truly believe in the sustainability policy that we all agreed to and signed off on and I believe are marching toward, we wouldn't be charging more to be getting rid of less waste and putting less into our landfills," Bram said Feb. 5.