The Pekin City Council will consider a proposal Monday to change contractors for the city's recycling program.

The city last year for the first time started receiving payments from its recycling provider, Midland Davis, for the paper it collects from residents every week, with some monthly payments as much as $10,000.

The Pekin City Council will consider a proposal Monday to change contractors for the city's recycling program.

The city last year for the first time started receiving payments from its recycling provider, Midland Davis, for the paper it collects from residents every week, with some monthly payments as much as $10,000.

But, said Pekin City Manager Joe Wuellner, the market has dropped for paper and the city is now again paying Midland Davis to take it. The current contract with Midland Davis expires Nov. 30.

The city sought contracts and now Wuellner wants to change to Midwest Fiber in Normal so the city will not only be paid for paper products, but also for tin, aluminum, plastic and other materials in high demand.

Midland Davis did not present a proposal that included products other than paper, but will appear at Monday's Pekin City Council meeting to plead its case.

Midland Davis Office Manager Rikki Wallace said the company bases its reimbursements to municipalities on newsprint because the bulk of what the city brings to be recycled is paper.

Pekin is the only large city that contracts with Midland Davis, according to Wallace. Morton, East Peoria and Washington contract elsewhere. Wallace said that if Pekin changes providers "there is a very strong chance" the company would no longer employee 11 handicapped workers.

Wuellner will recommend to the council that it approve a contract with Midwest Fiber, which will pay for all the materials based on the current market rate for each month. The contract is three years in length with an option for two additional years.

Midwest Fiber provided a breakdown of what the city would have received in October of this year had the city been under contract with the company at that time. The report showed there was no market for glass, but that there was a value of $82.22 per ton for all other recyclable materials.

The company, like all other companies, said Wuellner, charges a processing fee, which is $69.50 per ton. The city would have received $13.72 per ton, or $825.

While that does not sound like a lot of money, the city is currently paying approximately $10 per ton, or $600 a month, to Midland Davis to take the recyclable materials. Wuellner hopes to increase the amount of recycling the city does.

The city of East Peoria contracts with Midwest Fiber, said East Peoria City Administrator Tom Brimberry.

"They give us the best price," he said. "Everybody is looking for the greatest variety of recycling taken from the waste stream to be reused."

Pekin no longer has to use trucks with separated bins for each recycled product. A regular garbage truck is used and the materials are compacted just like regular garbage, which means fewer trips to the recycling center and less expense for manpower, gas and maintenance to trucks.

The city currently has small red bins for recyclable materials, which residents do not like because they blow over in the wind and people have to pick up the scattered debris, said Wuellner. The bins are small and hold very little.

Wuellner wants to convert to bins that are the size of the Pekin garbage totes, or slightly smaller. The new bins would hold more and be more stable. The bins would be a different color than the trash bins and would be equipped for pickup by a mechanical arm on the truck to prevent injury to workers.

Wuellner said the city of Normal converted to the large bins and its recycling went from 30 percent to 60 percent of all material put out at the curb.

Whether material is placed into the garbage or into a recycling bin it costs the city gas money and manpower. Currently the city drives the garbage to the Indian Creek Landfill near Hopedale, a round trip of approximately 50 miles. Once there, the city has to pay tipping fees for the materials placed into the landfill.

"If the city takes 20 tons of material a week to the landfill it costs $700 in tipping fees," said Wuellner. "If we send more to recycling we save the money on tipping fees and do our part of make the life of the landfill longer."

The city gets $67,000 in funds from Tazewell County every year for its recycling program, a portion of which is used to educate children in the schools about the need to recycle. Wuellner said some of that money could be used for the recycling bins.

"It has been proven that the way to get to the parents is through the education of the child," said Wuellner.

Wuellner will start looking into the costs of the bins after the first of the year. He believes the bins will range from $50 to $60 each, depending on the size.