Election

Garbage pickup question on ballots in Blackberry, Hampshire townships

Residents of unincorporated areas in two Kane County townships will decide Tuesday whether to have one company pick up residential garbage instead of having each resident hire a garbage hauler.

In Blackberry Township, several residents had asked about doing so, according to Highway Commissioner Rodne Feece. Eight to 10 trucks from four or five companies are traveling the unincorporated roads every week, he said.

That does not include the Mill Creek subdivision near Geneva and Batavia. The subdivision has a contract with just one hauler. Mill Creek residents will be able to vote in the referendum. If the measure is approved, there is the possibility the township could piggyback on the existing Mill Creek contract, according to Feece.

Having just one hauler would reduce wear and tear on Blackberry Township’s roads, Feece said, as just two heavy trucks a week -- one for garbage, one for recyclables -- would be on the roads.

On a post on its website, Hampshire Township officials said garbage trucks drive on the edge of the road, which is the weakest part of the road, and stop and start a lot, causing damage. But it isn’t just about road damage, they said. They believe that by consolidating collection, the residents could see a decrease of 15% to 20% on their garbage bills.

Residents who have Dumpsters, such as farmers, would still be able to contract with a hauler for that service, which is considered a commercial service, according to township officials.

In both townships, if the measures pass, the township boards would request proposals for service and pick a hauler. Residents would still pay for the service.