Free drop-off recycling in Normal will continue, but at a lesser level and with a private company at the head of the program.
Midwest Fiber Recycling, located in Normal, will take over the Town of Normal’s drop-box recycling program beginning April 1. The town's agreement with the recycling company is through May 2020.
Director of Public Works Wayne Aldrich said budget cuts drove the change.
“I think the (Town Council) felt it’s a program that’s best managed and administrated by Midwest Fiber Recycling,” Aldrich said. “At least locally, they’re the folks that take this material and then send it off to other processors. I think it kind of cuts out the town as a middle man, as far as the collection and delivery (of) the materials to Midwest Fiber.”
Aldrich said the deal is a symbiotic one for the town and Midwest Fiber. The change in leadership will save the town about $150,000 in labor and equipment costs.
Midwest Fiber will continue to receive some assistance from the town, however. By agreement, the town is allowing Midwest Fiber to use 15 of its dumpster recycling containers and one of its trucks to make pickups and deliveries.
“That waste stream is important to them. So rather than the program just going away, they felt there was some value in continuing to keep the program up and receive those materials, because they do rely on some of those materials to be processed at their facility,” Aldrich said.
The town’s drop-box program was the first program the town implemented for the recycling of materials and predates the current curbside recycling program.
Aldrich said the town will continue managing its curbside program, but it’s only accessible to residents of Normal.
“Whereas we found the drop-box program, through some surveys that have been conducted, actually collects recyclables not just from the town of Normal, but also from the city of Bloomington and the county, and then on some occasions, even farther outside the county,” Aldrich said.
The program will be downsized from its current eight sites to its four busiest sites, including Jewel-Osco on Cottage Ave., University Center on Main St., Chiddix Junior High School on Walnut St. and Walmart Supercenter on Greenbriar Ave.
Materials accepted in the new drop-box program will be the same as those accepted in curbside recycling.
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