The Village of Gurnee is currently in the process of determining the feasibility of establishing a village-wide commercial waste and recycling franchise. Sometimes referred to simply as a commercial franchise, these programs essentially aggregate all existing refuse and recycling accounts under a single contract with the primary objective of reducing service costs for participating businesses. As the Village plans to formally consider issuing a request for proposals (RFP) for a contract, the following are some frequently asked questions about these franchises so that businesses may understand the program and the contract-awarding process.
1. What is a commercial waste franchise?
A commercial waste franchise is essentially a contract awarded by the Village to a private waste hauler to provide refuse and recycling services for all commercial and/or multi-family accounts.
2. What are the benefits of a franchise?
By reducing commercial waste and recycling hauling to one provider, customers can receive numerous benefits, including:
- By increasing the total number of businesses being served under a single contract, waste franchise agreements can reduce the cost each business is charged for their services.
- Commercial franchise contracts often have longer terms with provisions that limit annual increases to a set percentage and prohibit the introduction of new fees during the contract period.
- Reducing the number of haulers means that there will be fewer trucks on the road, less wear and tear on the streets and more efficient routing and collection, will reduce vehicle emissions.
- Increasing opportunities for businesses to recycle--the more businesses that participate in recycling, the more waste that can be diverted from landfills.
3. What would a commercial franchise cover?
The Village is currently considering a franchise to cover commercial properties with the potential to include multi-family properties as well. If you are a resident of Gurnee living in a single family home, this franchise will not affect your residential waste and recycling services in any way.
4. How does the Village put a commercial franchise in place?
The Village has to follow the process outlined in Illinois Public Act 096-1215 , the law that allows municipalities to create commercial and residential waste franchises. According to this law, the Village must:
- Hold a public hearing on the advisability of issuing a Request for Proposal (RFP)
- Issue an RFP
- Hold a second public hearing on the proposed franchise and disclose and franchise fees
- Award a contract to a hauler
- Implement the program 15 months after the contract is approved by the Village board
5. How would a commercial waste franchise impact me?
A commercial waste franchise would affect only the waste and recycling services provided to business, commercial and industrial customers in the Village with the possibility of also including multi-family housing complexes. Highland Park and Highwood, two Lake County communities that have implemented commercial franchise agreements, have seen significant benefits from their programs:
- Highland Park and Highwood negotiated to include “free” recycling services in their franchise contracts by bundling refuse and recycling costs together. Including the additional recycling service, about 82% of Highland Park’s businesses and 100% of Highwood’s businesses reduced their costs under the community’s franchise agreement.
- Highland Park’s businesses have significantly increased their recycling efforts, nearly doubling the amount of businesses that recycle, from 35% to 70% after the franchise was put in place and increasing the amount of recycled material by 42%.
6. When will the commercial waste franchise services start?
Based on the timeline outlined in Illinois Public Act 096-1215 , the Village must wait 15 months after the date a contract is approved to implement the franchise. In total, the whole process can take up to about 2 years to move from the planning to implementation stages.
7. Why is the Village considering establishing a commercial waste franchise?
In 2011 the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County’s (SWALCO) created the 60% Recycling Task Force Study with input from private waste haulers and other stakeholders, which recommended evaluating the implementation of commercial franchises to increase recycling efforts. Following this recommendation, SWALCO worked with the Village to conduct a survey of local businesses to determine whether a commercial franchise would be beneficial in Gurnee. The survey indicated that 39% of responding Gurnee businesses do not have a recycling program in place and the vast majority of businesses are also paying more than communities with a franchise program in place.
8. How would waste hauling services be provided under a commercial franchise?
A commercial franchise would provide the same services that businesses are currently receiving, including waste hauling for different sized containers and ranging in frequency of pick up from one to five days a week. The only difference in services that these customers can expect is a possible change in their hauling company and a difference in pricing for their services.
9. Who can I contact if I have more questions?
For any questions, please contact Erik Jensen at Village Hall at (847) 599-7514.