A group of landlords has a problem with the Town of Normal's proposal requiring all multifamily dwelling owners to make recycling available on site.
Town officials formally rolled out their plans at an informational meeting Thursday at Uptown Station.
Matt Powell, vice president of government affairs for the McLean County Landlord Association, predicts landlords will raise rents.
“It’s an extra cost and of course we are going to have to pass that on to our tenants,” Powell said. “That just hampers the chances of people on fixed incomes being able to rent in affordable housing.”
Powell said none of the more than 20 landlords the group represents supports the proposal.
“People think the landlords are getting rich, but then you’ve got the government passing taxes and everything else—and an ordinance on you—and then you really aren’t,” Powell said.
Powell works for State Farm Insurance and said he owns 37 rental units in Bloomington-Normal.
Normal Public Works Director Wayne Aldrich said the goal is to make recycling accessible to everyone.
“The big thing is just the more recyclables being collected and less waste being hauled to the landfill,” Aldrich said.
He added McLean County’s 20-year solid waste management plan which Normal approved calls for expanded recycling efforts.
“If things go right, the amount of waste goes down, the amount of recyclables goes up and ultimately it should be a more efficient cost-saving program,” Aldrich said.
McLean County has surpassed 40 percent recycling rates for the last two years. Ecology Action Center is suggesting the county raise the goal to 50 percent.
The proposal calls for property owners to contract with a private company to haul the recyclable materials weekly. Violators would be subject to $100 daily fines, though Town Planner Mercy Davison suggested the town would work with landlords to help them comply before issuing fines.
Powell said he doesn’t know how much the new regulations would cost landlords, but he said he hopes they can negotiate lower rates with the recycling contractors. Landlords would have to report to the county’s solid waste coordinator each year how much recyclable materials are collected.
The Normal Town Council is expected to vote on the plan next month. It would take effect in August 2019.
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