Streator residents are throwing away nearly 30% more solid waste than in 2019.
Dave Schaab, municipal marketing manager at Waste Management, told the City Council it was a significant increase, but he said the company will not necessarily be able to recover the costs of the increase because its contract with the city doesn’t expire until the end of April 2025.
City Manager David Plyman said both parties of the contract would need to agree before a cost increase were put in place.
Schaab said more residents are spending their time or working at home, and also ordering out more, during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to more trash. He said the increase in solid waste was coupled with flat recycling rates.
“Recycling has taken a step backwards,” he told the council.
Schaab said education will be amped up about what materials can be recycled and the resources available through its disposal service. Members of the public who attended the council meeting told him either they or fellow residents in the city were unaware of Waste Management’s At-Your-Door pickup for electronics or hazardous materials.
“I find that program to be a big benefit for residents living within the city limits,” said Councilwoman Tara Bedei.
Councilman Joe Scarbeary asked if the reduction in businesses operating hours during the pandemic offsets the increase in residential waste, and Schaab said the output of waste hasn’t gone done as much in the commercial sector to make up for the increase in the residential.