MUNSTER | Residents will see a new solid waste collection system go into effect around March 1, with larger 96-gallon trash cans and recycling totes as well as a new service provider.
On Monday, the Munster Town Council awarded Waste Management a three-year contract for garbage pickup and recycling at the town’s 7,683 households. The Portage company was the lower of two bidders for the option chosen by the council.
The second bidder, Republic Services of Indiana LP of Crown Point, has provided “great service” in trash collection for Munster for about eight years, said Dave Nellans, Town Council president.
“There is a significant cost savings to the town with the new system,” Nellans said.
Currently the rate for once-a-week garbage and recycling pickup is $14.81 per dwelling. The new rate in the first year will be $13.50 per dwelling. In the second year, that cost will be $13.93, with the cost rising to $14.39 in the contract’s third year. There also are options for two additional years.
During the first year, the town will pay $103,721, as opposed to the current $113,785.
In a 4-1 vote, the Town Council chose once-a-week trash pickup that preserves the traditional alley pickup for about 800 homes on the north side of Munster.
The 96-gallon recycling totes will be picked up every two weeks, and all recycling can be mingled together in the container, Town Manager Tom DeGiulio said.
Council member Joe Simonetto voted against the motion because the town would save more money by eliminating alley pick up, he said.
“That money could be used to pay for leaf and branch pickup,” Simonetto said.
DeGiulio said there will be a three-month transition period between Republic and Waste Management to get the system running by about March 1.
During those three months, all residents will be notified of the change by various means including by mail. A published schedule of collection days will be distributed annually, DeGiulio said.
Every household will receive one 96-gallon green can with a hinged lid for trash and a 96-gallon can with a yellow hinged lid for recycling from Waste Management.
The cans are rectangular rather than round, have wheels and a handle for pushing or pulling. They are taller and deeper but not much wider than traditional trash receptacles, DeGiulio said.
“The use of the 96-gallon containers negates the need for weekly recycling pickup,” he said
Residents who want smaller 65-gallon cans can receive them by notifying Waste Management.
Extra containers can be rented for $36 per year directly from the provider.