VALPARAISO | The city's new contract with Homewood Disposal will cost a little more for trash but could earn a few more bucks for recycling.
Homewood was one of three bidders for accepting the city's trash and recycling. Public Works Director Matt Evans told the city's Board of Public Works and Safety that Homewood had an advantage because it has a transfer station near the Porter County jail. Republic's facilities are in Chesterton and Waste Management is in Gary.
The city's existing contract with Homewood calls for the city to pay $39 per ton for trash. Recycling is sorted and the city receives 50 percent of any revenue Homewood gets after expenses. Evans said the recycling market is very volatile and several times in the past few months the company actually took a loss. The city doesn't pay anything when that happens.
The new contract will raise the cost for trash to $42 a ton, but the recycling agreement calls for the Homewood to pay the city 100 percent of any revenue after its expenses are covered. Evans said he doesn't expect to make much, if anything, from the better share, but it's a better deal.
"A little bit of an increase was expected (for the trash), but we are very grateful to be able to get 100 percent of the (recycling) revenue after expenses," Evans said.
The old contract expired at the end of 2012 but was extended through the end of this month so the city could seek bids. The board agreed Thursday to Evans' request for another extension through June to finalize the contract with Homewood.
"It's just a matter of sitting down with their people to get it all down on paper," Evans said. "That takes time, and we need an agreement in place until we do that."
He said the increase in the trash fee in the new contract will not mean an increase in the fee residents pay for rubbish pickup.