Batavia approves change to a monthly-bill garbage pickup plan

No more putting "buy garbage stickers" on Batavians' grocery lists, starting July 1.

The city council Monday approved a five-year contract wherein all single-family residences will pay a monthly bill, whether they throw out a little or a lot.

Under the contract with Groot Industries, people will rent wheeled toters. The smallest, 35 gallons, will cost $16.75 a month in the first year of the contract. A 65-gallon toter will cost $21.44, and A 95-gallon toter will be $23.44. All are cheaper than current toter rentals.

People 65 and older can rent a 35-gallon toter for $12.75.

All prices will increase by 4% every year.

"I feel bad for our residents. I hate this, that this is where we are at," Alderman Leah Leman said.

Representatives of Lakeshore Recycling Systems, Groot Industries and Waste Management, which submitted proposals, repeatedly told the city council the companies were not interested in continuing the sticker program, which has been used since the mid-1990s. Waste Management is Batavia's current garbage company.

The official request for proposals did not ask to continue the stickers, but did ask for a pay-per-tip option. None of the three bidders offered that.

Residents who throw out a can of garbage once or twice a month complained at previous council and committee meetings over the price increase they will see. Several aldermen agreed, including one who suggested waiting to see what happened in Geneva, which is also seeking a new garbage contract.

Geneva asked, in its request for proposals for a new contract, for a sticker program. Lakeshore - the city's current contractor - was the only bidder to offer a sticker program, according to city spokesman Kevin Stahr. The proposals were due May 1, for a contract that starts July 1. If the Geneva City Council accepts the proposal, stickers will cost $3.95 for the first year of the contract. Currently, a Geneva trash sticker costs $3.10.

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