Village will extend waste contract

By on August 14, 2010

by Ryan Wells
Elburn—With the village of Elburn’s contract with Waste Management set to expire at the end of September, officials explored options at the Aug. 2 Village Board meeting and decided to extend the current agreement.

Per the original, five-year agreement, signed in September 2005, the village and Waste Management could continue the agreement for three, one-year terms. The rate, currently at $14.81 per residence per month, will by subject to a cost-of-living adjustment equal to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

“Given their level of service, I’d be all for extending the three years,” Bill Grabarek said.

Grabarek moved that the board pursue a three-year extension to the agreement, using CPI to govern rate changes. The measure passed 4-2, with Kenneth Anderson and Jerry Schmidt voting no, and trustee Jeffrey Walter absent. Village President Dave Anderson voted yes.

Also before the vote, Trustee Kenneth Anderson suggested that the village extend the contract one year, using CPI, and then re-evaluate the agreement near the end of the extension.

The extended agreement will retain provisions of the current contract including residents’ access to unlimited recycling in cans that do not exceed 35 gallons or 50 pounds in weight; residents’ ability to purchase their own recycle cans, obtain them from the village or rent them directly from Waste Management; and residents ability to use Waste Management stickers to label self-purchased cans for recycling pick-up.

Village Administrator Erin Willrett met with Waste Management Municipal Marketing Director Matt Hernandez in July, and the discussion concluded with several options from which the board could choose.

The option the board selected was for the village to extend the agreement for three years and base any future rate change on CPI.

Willrett explained that the current year’s CPI is 1.6 percent. Last year, CPI was a negative number, but the year before that the CPI was 4.6 percent.

“With CPI at 1.6 percent this year, the gamble is on the second year; what’s it going to be?” Village President Dave Anderson said.

Another option for the village was to extend the agreement for three years at an annual, fixed-rate change of 3 percent. The new costs per resident per month would have been $15.25 in year one, $15.70 in year two, and $16.17 in year three.

The village also could have extended the agreement one year, choosing either the 3 percent or CPI rate of increase, or the village could solicit outside bids from other organizations. Before the board voted, Schmidt suggested taking the latter course.

“I think the service (provided by Waste Management) has been great, but I think we should shop around too,” Schmidt said.

Willrett said that when soliciting bids prior to the existing agreement, the village received proposals from three companies, with Waste Management being the lowest.