Deerfield Looks at Commercial Recycling
Village will begin by gathering information from the business community. Cost savings and environmental benefits could result.
Deerfield is taking its first steps this month to incorporating the inclusivity and convenience of its residential recycling program into the commercial community.
While the Village now has a contract with Waste Management for picking up most of the residents’ recycling and its garbage, businesses and other non residential users are free to choose any hauler they want. Any recycling at all is an option to these corporate citizens.
If everything falls into place, Deerfield could have a contract with a hauler to handle commercial recycling as well as waste removal in two years, according to Jenny Maltas, the assistant to Village Manager Kent Street.
The initial phase of the process is information gathering, according to Maltas. The Village will send letters this month to the Deerfield’s commercial citizens this month to gauge their interest and attitudes.
“We will look at their responses to determine if it would be beneficial to move forward,” Maltas said. “We’ll find out what type of (recycling) contracting they’re doing now and who is providing it”
Some communities, like Highland Park, already have a program while others, like Northbrook, do not. Highland Park’s program is more than two years old.
Should the program move forward to conclusion, the Village will enter into a commercial franchise agreement with a hauler and, just like the existing residential arrangement, all commercial users would be required to participate.
While Deerfield Sustainability Commission Chairman Matt Wylie recognizes there is a downside to removing the option of choice from commercial customers, based on the experience of other communities he believes there will be a financial savings.
“Our research on comprehensive programs has shown if they (commercial users) are compelled into a franchise agreement it will result in a savings for the customers,” Wylie said.
Wyle also believes the environmental benefits are too hard to pass up. “It will reduce what we have to send to a landfill,” he said.
After the Village has the opportunity to absorb the information it collects from its businesses, it would send out requests for proposal from potential haulers, according to Maltas. “We will be looking for ways to optimize the process,” she said. “We’ll find out what will work and what wouldn’t.”
Wylie wants to make the process as friendly for the commercial users as it is for residents. “We make it incredibly convenient,” he said. “All they have to do is take it to the curb,” he added about the recyclables.