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City Council, haulers discuss premium yard waste service

Decatur, IL – The highlight from the March 4, 2024 Decatur City Council meeting was discussion of premium yard waste services in Decatur.

Premium Yard Waste service
     On Monday night the Decatur City Council spent most of their regular meeting discussing premium yard waste service for Decatur residents. The City’s two largest haulers, Waste Management (WM) and GFL, were present to answer questions about their offerings. Both citizens and Council members made it clear that the current premium yard waste offerings were not acceptable.
     Previously, residents could subscribe to premium yard waste service for $1 per month. This was changed through negotiations with the City’s larger haulers, who had requested increased fees. The haulers reiterated Monday night that they could not continue picking up yard waste for such a low price unless the City agreed to a higher base rate for garbage service. Since the goal was to keep the base rate that everyone has to pay as low as possible, the City agreed to let haulers set their own prices for premium yard waste.
     Now, Decatur residents have unlimited yard waste collection during 6 weeks in the spring and 6 weeks in the fall. If residents want collection outside of those 12 weeks, they need to contract for premium yard waste service from whatever company they choose. Residents are not limited to using their assigned garbage hauler for premium yard waste. But all haulers arrived at $120 for their annual service. Some other details of their offerings, such as $5 per extra bag beyond the 96-gallon tote, were also very concerning to Council.
     Since the “free market” has not yet led to private entrepreneurs offering a cheaper year-round premium service, and because GFL’s and WM’s offerings weren’t acceptable, Council asked for major changes. The haulers said they would consider changes to their programs. If Council still does not find their offerings acceptable, they said they would take a look at changing the ordinance to set terms for premium yard waste service.
We will keep citizens updated on this topic at: https://decaturil.gov/garbage-recycling/

In other business…
     Council agreed to safety improvements for two railroad crossings on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. The crossing at Wood Street will have new automatic flashing lights installed along with new paint and signage, and the crossing near Peoria Street will get new automatic flashing lights and crossing gates.
     Finally, Council approved an intergovernmental agreement with the Macon County Conservation District for assistance with controlled burning. The Conservation District helps manage controlled burns and the City anticipates needing their assistance more frequently for projects, such as maintenance of the Oakley Sediment Basin.

More information about these topics can be found in the City Council meeting packet, downloadable/viewable here: www.decaturil.gov/mayor-and-council/council-meetings/

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