NORMAL — As the Normal City Council considers a new, 20-year McLean County solid waste plan, officials are working on included recycling mandates that proved contentious when the plan was passed by the County Board last month.
The council could approve the plan when it meets Monday, then pass two related ordinances next month: one requiring recycling of construction and demolition waste, and a second making landlords offer recycling services to renters at multifamily facilities, said Normal City Manager Mark Peterson.
Officials are considering how to increase the county's recycling rate, which has stalled around 40 percent, as the McLean County Landfill reaches capacity and prepares to close. That will make trash more expensive because it needs to be hauled to other nearby landfills, including one at Pontiac.
"There's about a 4.5 percent recovery rate on (commercial and demolition) waste ... and it makes up 28 percent of landfilled material, so eliminating or reducing that would be a major impact," said Peterson. "We recycle the bulky waste we collect as a town, but private individuals don't have to. This would require they also recycle that material."
Three council members have already voiced their support for a multifamily recycling ordinance, which wouldn't force anyone to recycle but would require landlords to put recycling bins in easy reach of renters, including at Illinois State University — a step students have long pushed for.
That possibility rankled some County Board members, however. The full board ultimately overruled its land use committee, which voted along party lines to remove any and all ordinance language from the plan.
Peterson said despite that, he expects the plan "to pass, probably unanimously," because he's heard no negative feedback from the council.
The multifamily ordinance is especially important as Normal considers ending its drop-off recycling program as part of budget cuts this spring.
The town also plans to end its electronics recycling program, which takes waste from anywhere, if Bloomington and McLean County don't agree to help fund it. Peterson said the city and county are both considering their options.
The council meets at 7 p.m. Monday on the fourth floor at Uptown Station.