Curbside recycling, single-hauler pickup debated

Mindy Carls

Whether Orion adopts curbside recycling could be decided at the village board meeting on Monday, Aug. 4.

At their meeting on Monday, July 7, trustees considered both curbside recycling and single-hauler trash pickup.

Trustee Mike Dunne said at first he opposed curbside recycling because he does not like to be told what to do, and he does not like imposing additional fees.

But after thinking through the proposal, Dunne said he now believes it is a good idea.

“I can’t let my personal feelings be the only thing I consider when I vote,” the trustee said. “I see it as a win-win.”

People back east began recycling years before anyone in Illinois did, resident Jennifer Smutzer said. It’s time to jump in and help the enviroment.

Orion has had recycling programs since the early 1990s, in partnership with Henry County or the township, Trustee Thom Sederquist said.

“We have been a forward-thinking community for tyhe last 20 years,” he said.

The current proposal is nothing new, the trustee said. It is merely a different procedure for recycling.

Village President Jim Cooper also wants the board to consider contracting with one garbage hauler to serve the entire community. Residents now hire their own hauler.

Three companies serve Orion, and having trash cans on the curb three days a week is not appealing, Cooper said.

Garbage trucks driving close to the curb damage the streets, he said.

That has been happening a long time, Trustee Robert “Deano” O’Leary said.

A village resident for 35 years, Trustee Mel Drucker said he had not seen garbage trucks tearing up the streets.

A single hauler would have two reasons to offer trash pickup for less than residents pay now, Cooper said.

First, the hauler would have more customers, and second, the customers would have less trash because they are putting more items in curbside recycling containers, Cooper said.

The village president said he pays $16 a month for trash pickup. That could drop to $12 a month.

Even with adding in $2.60 a month for curbside recycling, residents still would save money, Cooper said.

Trustee Karl Kane said he was not in favor of a mandatory fee for curbside recycling unless residents could save money.

O’Leary said he likes to be able to change garbage haulers if he doesn’t like the job his current hauler is doing.

Resident Don Goembel said he loves having three haulers because he likes to be able to change companies.

Drucker also liked the idea of having three haulers.

If Orion did solicit bids for a single hauler, the village probably would negotiate a multi-year contract, Cooper said.

It would be to the village’s advantage to have a five-year contract protecting it from increases in landfill fees and fuel costs, Dewey Peterson said. He is the owner and operator of Peterson Disposal Service, Andover.

The contract could contain a provision allowing the village to cancel if residents were dissatisfied with the service, village officials said.