The city has about eight tons of scrap metal it doesn’t know what to do with.
City officials received no bids from haulers willing to take the scrap away. Department of Public Works Supervisor Ray Halgas said no one even called to look at the piles, which are located at the city’s Construction and Demolition Debris landfill on Forth Avenue.
City Clerk Susan Alibozek said bids were due back Tuesday, but none were submitted.
“Last year there was at least one person,” she said. “I don’t know what the deal is.”
Members of the Engineering Department met with Mayor Ann Thane Thursday to discuss different issues. The weekly meeting focused on the Bridge Street Reconstruction Project and the demolition of the former Chalmer’s Knitting Mill, both on the South Side. Thane said Halgas plans to submit a few ideas about what to do with the scrap pile this week.
The scrap metal collection includes about 5 tons of lightweight tin from things like heavy appliances and bicycles, and about 3 tons of cast iron from fire hydrants, snow-plow blades and truck parts.
Alderman William Wills, D-4th Ward, has been pushing the city to do something about the metal pile for weeks.
In early May, Wills took pictures of the dump site’s gate wide open. The site is surrounded by residences. He said he worries that children will play at the site and get hurt.
The city should have a company bring in a container to keep the scrap metals contained, Wills said.
Halgas said the steel market is pretty low and the quality of the city’s collected items aren’t good.
The city did not conduct a Roads Program last summer, which would have produced a lot of scrap metal materials from replaced infrastructure while fixing the roadways.
The Roads Program was put on hold as crews worked to repair infrastructure on three of the city’s main roads for a state-funded road repaving program through federal stimulus dollars.
However, the city does have fire hydrants this year from the city’s program to replace faulty hydrants throughout the city. The project also produced scrap water pipes and valves.
“Usually there is a lot of cast iron to bid on,” Halgas said.
City residents can pay a fee to have DPW workers pick up their large items like appliances. Crews pick up the items once a week. Once a year residents can have their bulk items picked up for free.
Halgas said the city might have to consider not having free bulk pickup next year because it might not be worth it.
Officials accounted for a $1,000 line item in the city’s 2010-2011 budget for revenue from selling the scrap metal.
The city made $3,200 on the scrap metal pile in 2009 and $6,500 in 2008, Halgas said.