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Council approves new garbage contract with Republic

MORRIS – Morris residents will pay slightly more for garbage fees once the city’s Environtech Landfill closes.

The Morris City Council approved Monday a five-year contract with Republic Services to continue providing waste pickup services for Morris residents once the city’s landfill closes.

The contract stipulates a 1 percent decrease in waste fees until April 30, 2015, at which time fees will jump up by 2 percent. In the following three years, garbage fees would increase 3 percent annually with an additional 2 percent increase in the fifth and final year of the contract.

The increases account for Republic’s added cost of hauling Morris waste to a landfill in Ottawa once the Environtech closes.

According to Morris Mayor Richard Kopczick, a recent report from the Environmental Protection Agency released in July expects the Morris landfill to be at capacity by December.

Hank Potts, Municipal Services Manager for Republic Services, disagrees with the EPA report, and said the landfill has a longer lifespan.

“I fully expect it to last through the end of this fiscal year,” Potts said prior to the council meeting Monday.

Anticipating the extension of the landfill’s sunset date, Republic agreed to decrease garbage fees 1 percent until April.

Originally, the Morris landfill was slated to close in 2012, but has long outlived the EPA’s original expiration date.

In 2012, Morris City Council voted down a resolution to expand the Environtech landfill’s life by 20 to 25 years. Since that vote, the council has worked to find a suitable solution for the city’s waste hauling needs, without drastically increasing fees.

“This is a fair price. Through 2019, we know somebody is going to pick up our garbage for a fair price,” alderman Randy Larson said Monday. “To me, this is the best way to handle our garbage situation right now.”

As part of the new contract, residents will receive new, larger waste totes.

The current totes will be converted to yard waste totes. Residents can fill them with grass clipping, leaves and other yard waste, and Republic will pick up the waste, free of charge, on regular garbage days.

Those who wish to keep the smaller totes can do so but must notify Republic.

“Once they get distributed, you’ll be able to contact Republic and get that smaller container back if you want it,” Larson said.

The new contract will go into effect this August.

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