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updated: 12/23/2011 10:03 AM

Elgin Township garbage contract starting soon

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Residents in unincorporated Elgin Township who don't already contract with Allied Waste Services for trash pickup received new recycling and garbage bins this week for a government-negotiated contract set to start Jan. 1.

Township Supervisor Annette Miller said the government offices have received plenty of calls upon delivery of the Allied bins -- some supporting the change and some opposing it.

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David Teas said his father lives on Brindlewood Lane and switched from Allied to Waste Management over the summer for cheaper rates and better service. Teas said his father would not be happy with the mandatory switch back and a new process that takes away the decision-making from individual households.

"The system has been working for years out here," Teas said.

But the change came in response to a vote by residents in the spring giving township officials the ability to negotiate a garbage contract for all of the 1,400 unincorporated Elgin Township households. The goal, Miller said, was to decrease truck traffic on the township roads. But the ballot question was posed with the understanding that if cheaper rates were not offered, the township would not sign a contract.

The new rates are $18 per month for single-family homes; $16.20 per month for senior citizens. Even though Teas' father switched from Allied for a cheaper contract, the new rate will end up saving him a couple bucks in the end.

Miller said it was bulk purchasing power that allowed the township to get a low rate from Allied for a three-year contract.

Many people calling, including Teas, were not aware a question was posed in an April referendum. Though it passed with about 53 percent of people in favor, only 200 cast a ballot.

"The turnout on voting for this was not high," Miller said.

A letter to affected township residents with details of the new contract is available on the township website at elgintownship.com under the Supervisor tab.

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