EAST PEORIA — The City Council on Tuesday approved the purchase of 3,120 96-gallon wheeled garbage carts in preparation of an enhanced recycling program that will begin next year.
The total cost of the hinge-lid containers is $166,043.55, an amount to be recouped by the city by sale of the containers to residents for $60 each. The council also approved the purchase of a garbage truck equipped to pick up the new containers.
"People have already started ordering (the new containers)," Commissioner Dan Decker said Tuesday evening. "They're excited about having them."
Currently, the city picks up recyclable materials that are placed at the curb in 18-gallon bins every week. The new program, beginning July 9, 2019, adds glass to the list of approved recyclable materials. Collection will be every other week. Residents won't be required to recycle, but all recycling will be done using only the new, blue-lidded containers. Residents may purchase containers privately if they prefer, or retrofit a garbage container they already own by painting the lid blue.
"Recycling is not mandatory," Decker said. "Using the new containers to recycle will be (mandatory)."
Each new container will be stamped with an East Peoria logo and be equipped with a radio frequency chip that will enable the city in the future to collect data about recycling participation.
"I've heard number that 30 percent of residents recycle and that 80 percent do. There's no way to tell," Public Works Director Dennis Barron said Tuesday. "(Collecting data) will allow us to plan out routes (better)."
The council authorized spending $275,359.45 to purchase a new 2019 Mack/Heil automated side-load solid waste truck for the public works department specifically used to pick up recycling. It also authorized the trade-in of a 2012 recycling truck. The truck will be purchased over two years and was made possible by the recent approval of a half-cent sales tax that will raise $2.5 million a year and goes into effect on July 1.
About 320 residents have already pre-ordered a recycling container and will be able to pick them up when they come in, or have the city deliver them. Residents can order the container online at the city's website, cityofeastpeoria.com, or in person at the public works department.
Recycling materials will continue to be picked up every week in the bins until the new program starts next year. On July 9, 2019, the every-other week recycling begins. Residents can find out which days their recycling will be picked up at the city's website.
Scott Hilyard can be reached at 686-3244 or by email at email@example.com. Follow@scotthilyard on Twitter.