Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Lyons takes over residential waste collection to cut costs

Lyons takes over residential waste collection to cut costs

One of the new garbage trucks purchased by Lyons
One of the new garbage trucks purchased by Lyons
On December 31st of 2014 the Village of Lyons ended it’s long term relationship with Groot Industries by electing to not renew their Residential waste and recycling collection contract.
The Village of Lyons has expanded the Public Works Department’s services, adding waste removal trucks and hiring employees. But the change, Village President Christopher Getty said, will improve accountability to residents and result in cost savings.
Over the past 4 years, the Village of Lyons has identified areas for tightening spending and improving services to make services to the community more efficient, saving taxpayers more than $500,000 a year.
“Residents won’t notice any real substantive change in the collection of waste and recycling each week,” Getty said. “But longterm, and even in the first year, we believe the village will see a cost savings.”
Village Manager Tom Sheahan explained that Groot was pushing for annual increases of 4% which would have forced the village to increases garbage rates on residences.
After analyzing what Groot does for nearly $500,000 a year the Village felt confident Public Works could take on this roll and save the village money.
Capital outlay included purchasing two used garbage trucks. Labor included hiring two more full time public works employees.  The collection day for all residents remains the same.  
Mayor Getty said he is very confident Public Works can take on waste and recycling collection for the residents and do it for less money.   This will give the village the ability to analyze waste costs, provide better service, and expand public works’ manpower.
Village Trustee Paul Marchiori stated he was excited about the idea and thought it was a great opportunity for the village to save money and was happy the board supported the administration and Department of Public Works in the new endeavor.
The garbage will continue to go to the same waste location, the Republic Transfer Station in McCook which Lyons contracts through the West Cook Solid Waste Agency. The recycling will now go to Lakeshore Recycling Systems in Forest View instead of going to Groot Industries in McCook. 
Other local towns have been doing this service in house for decades, Sheahan said, including nearby communities such as Stickney, McCook and Cicero.
“All of them collect their own waste and recycling and they do a very good job,” Sheahan said. “We believe we can do the same.”
The Village did receive assistance from an outside consultant who helped manage the transition and train the new hires on the equipment and procedures.

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