Hammond agency considers privatizing recycling

2014-02-23T19:32:00Z Hammond agency considers privatizing recyclingMatt Mikus matt.mikus@nwi.com, (219) 933-3241 nwitimes.com
February 23, 2014 7:32 pm  • 

HAMMOND | The Hammond Board of Public Works has accepted bids from two companies to privatize recycling operations as part of the city's efforts to consolidate multiple departments under the new public works department.

City Chief of Staff Mark McLaughlin said Homewood Disposal and Waste Management submitted bids to handle recycling responsibilities for the city.

The city decided last fall to consolidate the streets, sanitation, parks and recycling departments, and the idea to privatize the recycling was mentioned.

McLaughlin said it is the smallest of the four departments, and if it was moved to a private company, all employees would be reassigned internally within the public works department.

The Board of Public Works will look at the rates and consider whether privatizing would save the city money.

"All we did was open bids," McLaughlin said. He added the board has not yet taken any action and will take the next few days to consider its options.

Bids were accepted based on bins per house per month, and ranged from $5 to $6. McLaughlin said the city comptroller has not yet had time to calculate the cost to the city.

More information would be provided during the next works board meeting.

"We will not make a move until we absolutely know for sure it will save us money," McLaughlin said. "We hoped that the bids would come in, and there would be a quick decision, but that didn't happen."

The board will also consider whether it will cost more to move to a single all-recyclables bin, rather than requiring residents to use multiple bins to sort different materials.

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