Algonquin looking to switch garbage service

Village Board tells staff to begin negotiations with Groot Industries

ALGONQUIN – The amount residents pay for garbage pickup is expected to slightly increase as the village looks to switch its refuse and recycling service provider.

The current contract with Waste Management is scheduled to end Aug. 31, and the village is looking to award a new contract to Groot Industries to take over the service.

Village Board members on Tuesday gave the go-ahead for staff to begin negotiating a contract with Groot.

Village Manager Tim Schloneger said he anticipates going with a five-year deal. In a recent request for proposals, the village looked for proposals for three- and five-year contracts.

Currently garbage and yard waste stickers cost $2.55 each. Residents who use the 90-gallon cart option currently pay $22.68 a month. Curbside recycling is free.

What those prices will be with Groot is still up for negotiation. 

Sticker prices are expected to increase, but would remain under $3 for the first year, Schloneger said.

Schloneger said how much money waste haulers can receive for recyclables is much less than in the past. 

"When that revenue dips, you have to make it up through stickers," Schloneger said.

The cart option price also would increase.

In a memo written by Deputy Village Clerk Michelle Weber, Groot submitted the lowest cost of the three proposals the village received that replicates all current services, which include the sticker program, spring cleanup and free curbside recycling, among other things, with minimal operational changes.

Algonquin has about 10,000 residences that receive garbage collection service.

"We're really excited to be here," said Josh Molnar, the municipal manager for Groot. "We have a good amount of workload, equipment and personnel in this area that allows us to be aggressive in this bid." 

Groot, which is 100 years old, is proposing collecting trash on Thursdays and Fridays rather than the five days a week currently in the village.

"We see [that] as a big advantage to the village, in reducing truck traffic by having us in town on two different days," Molnar said.

He said it would take eight to 10 trucks to cover the village. 

Trucks would collect garbage, drop off their loads and then come back into town and pick up recycling, Molnar said.

Groot also anticipates using vehicles that run on compressed natural gas, which is one of the company's green initiatives.

Molnar said the emissions are cleaner and make the trucks quieter.

Schloneger said the village was happy with Waste Management's services, but the decision to leave was based on economics.

"It came down to the price, they wanted a substantial rate increase," Schloneger said. "We wanted to go the market, verify the rates. Groot came in, were competitive, and we feel like they could match the same level of service as Waste Management."

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