Oak Lawn trustees praise waste collection service despite rate increase

  • Written by By Dermot Connolly

Oak Lawn trustees, while approving a 2.2 percent increase in waste collection rates at the Village Board meeting on Tuesday, pointed out that the cost is still lower than it had been under a previous waste hauler.

The newly approved rate increases under the ongoing contract with Allied Waste, a division of Republic Services, which will take effect in April, will mean homeowners under age 65 will pay $57.36 per quarter for waste collection, up from $56.13 last year.

Seniors (those age 65 and older) and those with disabilities will be charged $53.10 per quarter, up from $51.96 last year.

But Trustee Alex Olejniczak (2nd) quickly pointed out that even with the increases, the costs are still significantly lower than they were under contracts with a previous waste hauler.

He and Trustee Bud Stalker (5th) both noted that in 2012, the last year before Republic took over, quarterly waste removal charges were $59.55 for seniors, and $65.10 for non-seniors.

“I would like to thank the office staff for working so hard on this and making it happen,” said Olejniczak.

He also thanked residents for recycling as much as possible, saying that practice allowed the village to negotiate lower collection rates.

“Increased recycling paid off for the citizens,” said Olejniczak. “We are charged by the amount of waste that goes into landfills. If we recycle and e-cycle as much as possible, we can keep the costs down.”

The trustee said that providing homeowners with full-sized blue recycling carts, rather than smaller crates, have evidently helped. Receptacles for yard waste are also provided.

E-cycling is the reusing or distribution of computers, TVs and other electronic equipment, and Olejniczak said the fact that the village provides monthly electronic waste collection for residents also helps keep costs down, because the bulky items do not end up in landfills.

Oak Lawn residents may drop off electronics such as TVs, computers, radios and phones at the Public Works building, 5550 W. 98th St., from 9 a.m. to noon on the second Saturday of each month.

In other business, Mayor Sandra Bury announced that the Planning and Development Commission had granted approval on Monday for a Culver’s restaurant to be built at the former site of Papa Joe’s, 10745 S. Cicero Ave.

Papa’s Joe’s relocated to 5900 W. 111th St. in Chicago Ridge last year, and Bury said the original building will be razed.

“Having Culver’s here will be wonderful for the village,” said Bury.