By Dave Fidlin


With large-scale deliberations on Union Grove’s 2019 operating budget about to get underway, village officials are in the midst of reviewing the cost and scope of trash and recycling service in the year ahead.

As with all municipalities, Union Grove is facing a cost increase for trash and recycling service as contracts are up for renewal.

Outside firms, such as ASDA Enterprises Inc., the village’s current contractor, have been facing financial challenges this past year that point to changes on the other side of the globe.

For years, recycling facilities have been selling large quantities of paper and plastic items designated as recyclable to China. But officials in the Asian country recently clamped down on what it will accept, based on policy provisions put in place Jan. 1.

The reduction in exporting recyclable materials has resulted in a ripple effect, and it is beginning to hit local municipalities as next year’s budget deliberations heat up. Union Grove is not the only community facing a rate hike in 2019.

During a debate at a Village Board meeting Oct. 8, officials voted, 4-3, in favor of a spending plan that includes several provisions, including earmarking $206,700 next year for automated pickup.

The narrow vote in favor of the plan, which will come into sharper focus as the draft municipal budget is released, had support from Village President Mike Aimone, Christopher Gallagher, Gordon Svendsen and Jan Winget.

Voting against the plan were Trustees Alan Jelinek, Ryan Johnson and Tim Mallach.

Several board members, including Johnson, inquired if the village should seek proposals from additional contractors to ensure Union Grove was getting the most bang for its buck.

But Village Administrator Mark Janiuk cautioned against such thinking at a time when the countdown clock to adopting the municipality’s 2019 operating plan is ticking at a frantic pace.

“Decisions need to be made,” Janiuk said. “You can’t wait. You’d be totally messing up the RFP (request for proposals) process.”

To read the full report on the Oct. 8 Village Board meeting see the Oct. 12 edition of the Westine Report.