Jacksonville could be changing recycling model in years to come

By Gary Scott on July 19, 2016 at 7:18am

Jacksonville’s Planning and Public Works Committee held a lengthy discussion last night about the city’s recycling contract.

Aldermen spoke with representatives Buster Sanitation Services about the company’s request for a two-percent increase in what the city pays. Manager Joey Buster said a shift in commodity prices has made recycling less profitable.

Committee chair Bill Scott says the two-percent increase proposal will be taken to the full City Council, but says his committee will be coming up with a new plan next year.

“In 2017, the contract with the city is up, and so we have to negotiate a new contract. For right now, short-term, we think we ought to stay with the two-percent increase. What we’re going to have to evaluate is, do we no longer recycle? Then it would all go in the trash,” he says.

The third option is a subscription-based program that is paid for by homeowners. Scott notes that’s the model currently used by the Village of South Jacksonville, in addition to other Illinois municipalities.

“You would have to call the sanitation service up, get on their list and they would have to set up routes. As it is now, they drive down the street, and they look for your product out on the curb. So, that would all change,” explains Scott.

“We got to look at it as a whole. We want the recycling program to continue. I think the council as a whole has to decide whether we as a city council wants to stay involved with the recycling program, which I think is a good thing,” he adds.

Aldermen Steve Warmowski also stressed to Buster that there continues to be confusion about when pickup times are scheduled.

Also last night, aldermen agreed to recommend to the full City Council to replace the current flashing-red stop lights at the intersections of College and Church and State and Church with solar-powered LED stop lights.

The Street Department had planned to remove the existing lights, which are old and have no replacement parts, but aldermen asked to have the issue come to a committee meeting during last week’s meeting.