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Committee recommends change in Geneva refuse provider

Existing company challenges proposal for new solid waste contract

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GENEVA –In a 6-3 vote with one absent, the Geneva Committee of the Whole voted May 14 to recommend a five-year refuse contract with a new provider.

The vote followed nearly 2 1/2 hours of discussion that included pleas from the current refuse service not to end its association with the city.

Staff recommended changing from the city’s current solid waste disposal company, Advanced Disposal in Batavia, to Lakeshore Recycling Systems, based in Morton Grove.

For comparison, the current cost from Advanced for a refuse sticker is $3.40, with a 20-gallon prepaid refuse bag costing $2.21. The proposed cost from Lakeshore is $2.60 for a refuse sticker and $2 for the 20-gallon prepaid refuse bag. Advanced’s proposed price was $3.10 for a refuse sticker and $2.05 for the 20-gall prepaid refuse bag.

The current contract expires July 1.

Public Works Director Richard Babica said the new contract would save Geneva residential customers $1.037 million over five years.

Geneva went in with Batavia and St. Charles in a collaborative effort, and sought requests for proposals. Geneva is the first of the three cities to consider two options within the Lakeshore proposal, Babica said, but Geneva is not obligated to take the same options the other cities choose.

About 50 Advanced Disposal employees wearing company T-shirts came to the meeting.

Advanced Disposal regional municipal marketing manager Bob Pfister said the lower cost from Lakeside was “a low-ball price.”

“You have a known commodity with us. What you have from them is promises,” Pfister said. “We have provided excellent service. I don’t know what else to say. I’m up against a low-ball price. … Their price is 9 percent below what we were five years ago.”

Josh Connell, managing partner of Lakeshore, said the company has been in business for more than 18 years and added 15 municipal contracts in the past six years.

“It’s based on sustainability,” Connell said. “We don’t own any landfills so we … recycle as much as we can.”

The City Council will take final action on the recommendation.