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Town of Normal News

Posted on: July 3, 2018

Normal's New Multi-Family Dwellings Recycling Ordinance

The Town Council approved a Multi-Family Dwellings Recycling Ordinance at the Town Council meeting of July 3, 2018.  The ordinance is available here:  Multi-Family-Recycling-Ordinance (PDF)


On February 5, 2018, the Town Council adopted the 20-Year Materials Recovery and Resource Management Plan (Solid Waste Plan) for McLean County, Bloomington and Normal. The Solid Waste Plan includes proposed actions to significantly reduce the amount of solid waste requiring disposal in our community.

On March 31, 2018, the Town of Normal ceased collection of recyclables from the drop-box recycle collection centers. This service was then taken over by Midwest Fiber Recycling but with half the drop-box locations (four rather than eight).  Although this arrangement has been successful, it further reduces the convenience for recycling to Town of Normal residents, including residents of multifamily units.

In support of the goals listed in the Solid Waste Plan and to better ensure that recycling is a convenient and equitable option for all Town residents, staff began researching details for a draft ordinance requiring recycling for multifamily dwellings.

Town staff also held separate meetings with the major apartment companies in town and the four largest collectors of commercial waste to solicit their initial input. All the waste collectors interviewed can provide recycling services to commercial and multifamily residential clients.  To assist staff in the preparation of a draft ordinance, a working group of stakeholders was assembled. Based on the input received from other communities and that working group, Town staff prepared a draft ordinance. An informational meeting was held on the draft ordinance on June 21, 2018 at 5:30 p.m.

Major provisions of the new ordinance:


This ordinance applies to mobile home parks and all multifamily dwellings in the Town of Normal that do not currently qualify for recycling collection services from the Public Works Department.

Effective Date

The implementation date is no later than August 1, 2019. This date allows time for collectors to implement the service and takes into account the student apartment leasing cycle.

Storage Areas

The ordinance requires that receptacles be in a designated storage area. Each storage area will comply with Town zoning, building and subdivision provisions. The proposed ordinance does not initially require screening of recycling receptacles, which is currently required for waste containers. Rather, on or before August 1, 2022, the entire ordinance including the screening requirements will be re-evaluated. This will allow the owners time to right-size their recycling and waste facilities and allow the Town to see how the recycling facilities fit within current screening structures.

In most cases the recycle collection will occur at the designated storage area. In order to promote ease of access by the private collector, recycling totes may be placed adjacent to a public street or alley on the day of pick-up if approved by the Public Works Director.

Recycle Containers

The type and size of the recycle container is generally unrestricted and to be determined by the property owner and the collector. However, if totes are used for recycling, a 65-gallon minimum size is required. (This is the smallest size permitted in the Town’s waste and recycle collection program.)

Collection and Processing

  • The ordinance requires the property owner to contract with a private collector for recycling services.
  • The private collector will ensure that the recyclable materials are taken to a qualified processor.
  • The collectors will file an annual report with McLean County Solid Waste Coordinator Michael Brown, Executive Director of the Ecology Action Center.


Violation of this code may result in a penalty of $100.00 per day. Enforcement of this code will be based on complaints and during the annual housing inspection. On-site variations for recycling container location may be pursued as indicated in the zoning code.


Town staff greatly appreciates the participation and cooperation of all individuals participating in the formulation of this ordinance.

For more information or if you have additional questions, pleases phone the Engineering and Inspections Department at (309) 454-9580.

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