Naperville is working to increase the amount of recyclables diverted from landfills by ordering larger containers with lids and wheels, and the city will seek ways to provide the carts free to residents.
The council on Tuesday night approved a $1.8 million contract with Cascade Engineering to buy recycling carts for the city's 41,500 households.
Public Works Director Dick Dublinski said the carts are on schedule to be delivered by August. Residents will be given a choice of 32-gallon, 65-gallon or 95-gallon carts, or they can opt out of the program entirely. But those who do not reply to a mailer the city will send out will automatically receive the largest cart.
Residents will have a two-week period to exchange the cart they choose if it is too large for their space or too small for their recycling needs. Dublinski said the cost of exchanging carts is built into the $1.8 million contract.
Original plans called for the city to charge residents $36, billed as $4 a month on nine consecutive utility bills, to help pay for the carts. But council member Grant Wehrli suggested the city find ways to use its own revenue to fund the purchase and council member Joseph McElroy agreed.
"Anything we can do to make it as inexpensive as possible -- thereby encouraging recycling, which is the whole point of it -- I think we should do," McElroy said.
Finance Director Karen DeAngelis said the city has received an unexpected $500,000 boost in real estate transfer tax revenue because of the recent sale of the Tellabs property.
Wehrli suggested that revenue could help fund the recycling carts. The city will wait until 30 days after its fiscal year concludes April 30 to determine exactly where funding for the carts will come from and if the city can cover the entire cost or if residents will be billed for a portion.
The city already plans to cover at least $375,252 of the cost of recycling carts because that amount would not be covered by charging residents through their utility bills.