By Jim Hagerty
Rockford residents began receiving their larger recycling bins this week, as part of the city’s seven-year contract with Rock River Disposal.
Each Rockford address will receive a blue, 32-gallon container with a lid to replace their current 18-gallon bin. The bins are almost twice the size of the old containers and aim to prevent more materials from entering the landfill. Old bins will not be collected and may be kept by residents, officials said.
Rock River Disposal will deliver approximately 1,300 bins per day for the next eight or nine weeks.
The containers are free and provided as part of a $78 million contract between the City of Rockford and Rock River Disposal signed last year.
Under the contract, monthly garbage bills increased by approximately $3.60. That means Rockford residents now pay about $18.60 per month for garbage services. While officials attribute the hike to projected cost increases over the life of the contract, new bins are part of upgrades from the last contract.
A division of Rock Valley Environmental Services, Rock River Disposal has been Rockford’s garbage vendor since 1999.
In addition to new recycling bins, the company now also offers curbside collection of e-waste. According to Rock River Environmental Services President & CEO John Lichty, small electronic devices such as radios, mobile phones, hairdryers and keyboards will be accepted along with standard recycling items.
There are no changes in the collection of bulk items, furniture and yard waste.
Rockford Ald. Venita Hervey, D-5, voted against the contract. Hervey said the use of air brakes causes Rock River Disposal trucks to skid, tearing up roads.
Rock River Disposal will continue to split recycling profits with the city. While Rockford did not receive a profit in 2012, it was paid $171,000 in 2011. The company has also agreed to haul away more than 3,000 tons of demolition material for free, saving the city more than $100,000.
Advanced Disposal, with a location in Davis Junction, was also considered as a new garbage vendor. It agreed to roughly the same services for about $18.40 a month per home.
Rock River Disposal’s bid could have come in as high as $24.45 per month, if aldermen would have approved larger or more than one recycling bin per household.
The company will delivery approximately 1,300 bins per day for the next nine weeks. The public will be updated weekly about upcoming deliveries in all areas of the city, officials said.
From the March 12-18, 2014 print edition