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posted: 10/21/2012 5:00 AM

Yes to privatize trash pickup in Rolling Meadows

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Rolling Meadows residents love their garbage pickup. The old couch goes away without extra fees or phone calls, and the crews act extra responsibly. For years residents have deflected attempts to privatize the service. This year, however, they should vote "yes" on November's advisory referendum to privatize. For decades, every city study concluded that for residents to keep the same high level of service under a private contractor, they would have to pay more. Now, though, the city has received concrete proposals -- and it turns out the contractors will grant residents that same service for $60 a year less. And even if the contractor tries to move the price up after the seven-year contract ends, a competitor may come in to bid the price back down. None of this affects snow plowing, one of Rolling Meadows' crown jewel services. City workers in city dump trucks still would do that, and they'd still help clean up after big storms. In November 2010, Evanston switched from public to private garbage pickup. Initial glitches in service have given way to a largely workable system and about $500,000 in annual savings. The same service. Less cost. We recommend residents vote YES, and let the city make its deal.

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