- As a five-year contract with Waste Management Inc. draws near its end, North Aurora, IL is inviting new bids for a more basic trash hauling agreement to save residents money. The current contract, which expires May 31, 2016, has multiple monetary provisions attached to trash can stickers, for instance requiring residents to buy a $3.51 sticker for each 32-gallon trash or rent a 96-gallon can for $28 per month. But residents also get perks such as free pickup of unlimited yard waste between Oct. 1 and Nov. 30, and free pickup of natural Christmas trees during January.
- North Aurora trustees are considering a contract that would cut many of the perks in exchange for lower trash sticker prices and a two-day pickup system, where fewer trucks would go out at a time.
- Officials will probably request bids in January 2016 and begin negotiations before the current contract ends this coming spring, Village Administrator Steve Bosco said to Chicago Tribune, adding that Waste Management could also submit a bid.
After maintaining the same contract for five years, North Aurora will have much to learn as they begin shopping, and will also learn much about what changes end up working best for residents.
"I don't mind going to multi-day pickup," Trustee Laura Curtis asserted. "I think if you ask people if they'd rather save money than have all the garbage pickups on the same day, they would choose to save money," she said, adding it would also make sense to cut one or both of the free pickups.
Trustee Mark Carroll thought retracting the option to dispose of large items for free could cause safety issues. "I would rather see appliances piled on the curb twice a year and pay for it (with higher sticker prices) than have fire hazards in town because people don't want to pay for removal," he said.
Carroll also argued for abandoning the sticker program, following Aurora's footsteps. Others have also wrestled with sticker fees as sticker sales declined.
"It's a pain to fumble with stickers every garbage day, figure out if you have enough – then if you don't, trying to run out and buy them and beat the garbage man to the curb," he said.
But Trustee Michael Lowery made the point that the sticker program saves money for senior citizens and other residents who don't generate much household trash and are on a tight budget.