- The City Council of Joliet, IL, voted on August 1 to award a 10-year contract renewal to Waste Management worth an estimated $133 million, as reported by The Herald-News. The city will see a decrease in monthly costs until 2024, when rates will surpass their current levels and peak at a unit price of $27.10. Under the arrangement, residents will pay the city a slightly lower rate than that unit price.
- Republic Services was the other bidder for this contract with a $174.7 million proposal. Leading up to the vote, Waste Management sought to make the case that they were offering "the most comprehensive program in the Chicago metropolitan area" and city officials ultimately agreed in their recommendation to the council.
- New features of the contract, which will start in 2018, include increasing recycling collection from biweekly to weekly, offering "At Your Door" curbside collection for electronics and household hazardous waste and an annual contribution of $250,000 for "community support." The contract does not include alley collection, a feature that residents have complained about losing in recent years, due to high costs.
This Chicago suburb has nearly 150,000 residents, with about 45,600 units covered for collection, and the renewal represents a solid win for Waste Management. Under the current contract, they had already been providing additional services, including pick-up for tires and appliances. They even have an arrangement to pick up dead animals found on city property or streets. While alley collection had been a high priority, city officials estimated it would have cost $6 million for initial clean-up and resurfacing, and upward of $30 million to maintain these conditions over the full contract term.
The addition of appointment-based collection for household hazardous waste and electronics was a popular move. Per the contract terms, Waste Management will accept a wide range of common household items that residents often have to drop off instead. This type of service is less commonly offered, aside from a growing program for some New York City residents, and will also help fill gaps in the state's struggling electronic waste recycling system. Illinois state legislators recently approved two bills to update this system that have been sent to Governor Bruce Rauner for consideration.
The Joliet renewal comes shortly after another contract win for Waste Management in Marquette, MI and positive second quarter earnings results that CEO Jim Fish said showed the company was "hitting on all cylinders."