Price drives Geneva's plan to change garbage collector

 
 
Updated 5/15/2018 11:38 AM
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  • Advanced Disposal likely will lose its contract to pick up garbage in Geneva.

      Advanced Disposal likely will lose its contract to pick up garbage in Geneva. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

Despite an effort by Advanced Disposal company officials, Geneva aldermen are poised to hire another company to collect the town's trash.

They voted 6-3 at a committee meeting Monday to contract with Lakeshore Recycling. Its prices were lower than those offered by Advanced Disposal, one of the three companies that submitted proposals.

For example, customers who pay for trash pickup by stickers will pay $2.60 a sticker with Lakeshore Recycling; Advanced Disposal offered a price of $3.10.

Geneva Public Works Director Rich Babica praised Advanced Disposal for its service of the past five years, noting it was quick to resolve problems and did things that were not required under its contract, such as adding a Saturday pickup of downtown public trash cans.

Advanced Disposal officials touted the experience of their drivers, the fact it operates out of an office in Batavia, and that it uses trucks that run on compressed natural gas. They criticized Lakeshore Recycling for not submitting as detailed a transition plan as they did. And they pointed out that many of its employees live in the area, so they spend their wages at local businesses.

"It (Lakeshore's offer) is a lowball price, and when you get a lowball price you usually get what you pay for," said Bob Pfister, regional municipal marketing manager.

As for wages, the city requires whoever has the contract to pay state-set prevailing wage rates, Babica said.

Babica noted that providing a transition plan was not part of the city's requirements now, or when it changed garbage companies five years ago when Advanced Disposal was selected. He checked with other suburbs that have hired Lakeshore, and all gave positive reviews.

Lakeshore Recycling, of Morton Grove, has been on a tear since 2012, when it was created by the merger of two companies. It has been buying other companies, including K. Hoving Companies of West Chicago and DC Trash of Cortland in 2017.

The current contract expires June 30. If the city goes with Lakeshore Recycling, Advanced Disposal will have to collect its garbage and recycling toters, and Lakeshore Recycling will supply new ones.

The city council will take a binding vote on the contract Monday.

The contract covers residential trash, except for large multifamily buildings. It also includes pickup of downtown trash cans, and trash from several downtown festivals.

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