City's Move To Dump Waste Management Turns Out To Be Anything But Routine

Jul 4, 2018

Credit Guy Stephens/ WNIJ

There’s no trash collection on a holiday, but a number of DeKalb residents likely have it on their minds. The city’s move to change waste haulers garnered a fair amount of attention in the community. And a recent vote by the DeKalb City Council on the matter proved to be anything but routine. 

The decision to replace Waste Management after a quarter of a century prompted an outcry at the June 25 meeting from several residents. They lauded the company’s service and commitment to the city, and worried about what they would get with its replacement, Lakeshore Recycling Systems. The council also heard from Waste Management employees who live in DeKalb, like Dion Sutton.   

“We love this town,” he said. “We love what we do. And just like they said when we came to the last meeting: ‘Waste Management, we are proudly DeKalb.’”

Lakeshore managing partner Josh Connell replied to the residents’ concerns at the meeting. He said it has an excellent service record and was looking to invest in DeKalb. 

Council members said Lakeshore simply had the better bid. They said it saves the city $165,000 more than the offer by Waste Management, while offering comparable service.  


Waste Management has passed out flyers urging residents to support its bid, and at the meeting asked again for further negotiations.

1st Ward Alderman David Jacobson excoriated Waste Management for not respecting the process.

“We put it out to fair bid,” he said. “It went to the end of regulation. The game ended. And now LeBron [James] wants to play Game Six, when the series is over.”

Jacobson said upending the council’s decision would erode the credibility of the city in future bids.

The new service is slated to begin Sept. 1.