BATAVIA – Residents will see their costs for garbage pickup decline under a contract tentatively approved by Batavia aldermen.
They also will see a different truck at the curb collecting the trash, if the contract gains final approval. The Batavia City Council’s Committee of the Whole voted 8-5 at a May 15 meeting to award the solid waste disposal contract to Lakeshore Recycling Systems of Morton Grove.
The city’s contract with Advanced Disposal, which has an office and a solid waste transfer station in Batavia, expires June 30. The company has been handling trash removal in Batavia for the past 15 years.
Under the new contract with Lakeshore Recycling, the price of a garbage sticker would drop to $2.60 from the current $3.40. By the fifth year of the contract, the price will have increased to $3.10.
For households renting wheeled garbage containers, the price will drop as well. A 65-gallon container will cost $18.25 per month in the first year of the contract, down from $23.85 now.
Advanced Disposal also submitted a proposal with lower prices, but not as low as Lakeshore’s.
Company representatives and Batavia employees from Advanced Disposal attended the committee meeting, pleading with aldermen to continue negotiations.
They portrayed Advanced Disposal as the hometown hauler, with 200 full-time employees in Batavia and a proven record as a reliable service-provider.
“We submitted a very aggressive bid,” with an 8 percent reduction in prices, Advanced Disposal Regional Manager Bob Pfister told aldermen.
Pfister suggested that Lakeshore will be unable to match the service provided by Advanced Disposal, calling Lakeshore’s proposal “a low-ball price.”
“You’ll get what you pay for,” Pfister said. “We are the lowest responsible bid. You have our service, not a promise.”
Lakeshore Managing Partner Joshua Connell said his company has grown by providing excellent service in other municipalities.
“Service will not be sacrificed,” Connell said.
Batavia Public Works Director Gary Holm recommended that aldermen go with Lakeshore.
“I’m confident in their ability to perform,” Holm said.
Under the contract, Lakeshore will be required to take all Batavia trash to the Advanced Disposal solid waste transfer station in the industrial park east of Kirk Road. The city gets a per-ton fee for trash processed at the facility.
Despite Lakeshore’s lower prices, some aldermen were reluctant to make the change.
They heard from Batavia Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Holly Deitchman, who said Advanced Disposal has been a generous sponsor of many Batavia community events and programs.
Some aldermen suggested it would be unethical to reopen negotiations, while others said the city should seek a better deal with Advanced Disposal.
”It’s not wrong to get a better deal from a company we’re happy with,” 2nd Ward Alderman Alan Wolff said.
However, a vote to continue negotiations failed, and the committee subsequently approved the contract with Lakeshore. The contract is expected to go to the full City Council on May 21.