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Normal To Reveal Multifamily Recycling Ordinance This Week

Single-family homes in Normal already have access to recycling through curbside pickup.

The public will get its first look at the Town of Normal’s proposed multifamily recycling ordinance during an information session Thursday.

The ordinance would require multifamily residences (such as apartments) to offer recycling as an option starting in August 2019, Normal City Manager Pam Reece said Monday. That gives property managers and owners a year to accommodate the addition of a recycling bin, Reece said.

The townwide ordinance would leave it up to multifamily property owners and managers to line up a recycling company. The town would not administer a formal program as some municipalities do, she said.

“The goal is to level the playing field and make recycling opportunities available to everyone,” Reece said. “If a single-family property owner chooses to participate in recycling, that’s great. They have that right to (do that) or not. We just want the multifamily dwellers to have the same opportunity.”

The town has studied the issue for months, getting feedback from a committee that included landlords, Illinois State University students, a mobile home park, and the Ecology Action Center. The discussion was guided by the county’s new 20-year solid waste management plan that the town endorsed early this year.

The Normal Town Council was expected to take action in March or April on the recycling issue. Now the ordinance is not expected to come before the council until July.

Reece said the ordinance was slowed in part by nuances in multifamily property site plans related to issues like parking spaces and dumpsters.

“In a specific site plan, there’s a lot of details that seem to make the discussion a little more complicated than I would’ve thought,” Reece said. “We wanted to be thoughtful and intentional in our process, and we wanted to get feedback from a number of folks.”

Unlike curbside recycling available to single-family and duplex homes, recycling options are limited for ISU students and other apartment dwellers. Some bring recycling to four dropoff boxes spread around town. Many ISU students come from more urbanized or affluent areas near Chicago, where comprehensive recycling programs are the norm. ISU student leaders have been pushing this issue for years.

The informational session will be at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in room 409 on the fourth floor of Uptown Station. Town staff will be available to answer questions.

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Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.
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