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Article posted: 4/3/2013 5:58 PM

Geneva reviews possible garbage collection changes

By Susan Sarkauskas

Geneva residents likely won't be charged a monthly flat fee for garbage and recycling pickup since the city council Monday pushed that option away, saying it seemed unfair to people who don't put out much garbage and doesn't encourage recycling.

The council was reviewing bids for a new five-year residential garbage contract.

"I'm always amazed how many people can go a week without putting out garbage," Third Ward Alderman Dawn Vogelsberg said of her neighbors. First Ward Alderman Charles Brown, whose grown children no longer live at home, said a flat rate wouldn't be good for him and other seniors. "Under this program, I lose big time," he said.

The other options are to continue the current sticker program for garbage, and still use the 18- to 20-gallon recycling bins; or to continue the current sticker program for garbage, but give everybody a 65-gallon wheeled toter for recyclables.

"The momentum (in the industry) is toward totes," public works director Dan Dinges said.

Alderman Dean Kilburg worried people, especially children, will mix up where to put their garbage if recycling toters are used, but representatives from Advanced Disposal said the toters have different-colored lids. Alderman Don Cummings wondered what would happen to all the garbage cans and recycling bins residents have now. Plastic ones can be recycled, said Bob Pfister of Advanced Disposal Services.

Todd Fawcett of Republic Services, the other bidder, said the company prefers wheeled toters for garbage and recyclables to reduce worker injury from lifting and emptying recycling bins and garbage cans. The toters are lifted and emptied mechanically. And when communities convert to recyclables toters, the amount of matter recycled has increased, he said.

The council will discuss the matter further at its committee of the whole meeting at 7 p.m. Monday.

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