Fairfield Ledger
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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 17, 2017

Council extends trash, recycling contract

Waste Management to cease issuing yard waste bags, ask residents to purchase stickers
By Andy Hallman, Ledger news editor | Nov 16, 2017

The Fairfield City Council approved an extension to its trash, recycling and yard waste contract with Waste Management during its meeting Monday night.

The vote to approve the contract was 6-0. Councilors voting in the affirmative were Doug Flournoy, Michael Halley, Daryn Hamilton, Katy Anderson, Martha Rasmussen and Tom Thompson. Councilor John Revolinski was absent. Terms of the extension take effect Dec. 1 and last through Oct. 31, 2018, after which a new contract will be approved, either with Waste Management or another provider.

The extension tacks on about a year to the current five-year contract the city signed with Waste Management in 2012.

Below is a summary of the contract extension.

 

Cost

Waste Management charges the city $11.73 for each residence it serves. Under the extension, that figure will rise to $12.05. Mayor Ed Malloy said the new expense will not be passed on to residents on Dec. 1.

He said the city has funds built up in its trash/recycling fund. Whether the council will have to raise rates on city residents will be decided at future council meetings.

Halley said the city had to charge residents more for trash pick-up than what it cost the city for a few years because the city had to get out of debt. Halley said, now that it has built up funds in its trash/recycling fund, he wants those savings to be passed on to residents.

 

Trash

No changes were proposed to the solid waste portion of the contract. Just as now, Fairfield residents will be allowed to place up to two 33-gallon containers of trash on the curb for weekly pick-up, provided no single container weighs more than 50 pounds. Additional bags require a Waste Reduction sticker.

 

Recycling

Recycling will continue as before. Residents will put it in their Waste Management-issued cart to be collected the same day as trash pick-up, every other week. The company maintains a website, recycleoftenrecycleright.com, which identifies what items can be recycled and what items not to include in recycling.

 

Yard waste

The biggest change will come in how the company handles yard waste. To dispose of their leaves and sticks, residents have had to purchase Waste Management bags costing $1.25 and put out the bags on trash pick-up day. The company’s municipal marketing manager David Schaab said about 25 percent of Fairfield households participate in the program. He said supplying the bags had become so costly it was no longer profitable for the company to continue doing so.

Under the new contract, Waste Management will stop selling its own bags and instead ask residents to purchase their own bags, and put a Waste Management sticker on it. Stickers will be provided to participating retailers and city hall for $2.20 per sticker.

 

Website

Schaab said he’s aware city hall fields many phone calls per day related to waste pick-up. To ease the work load on city staff, Waste Management has offered to create a website specific to Fairfield with information about service days, holidays, acceptable and unacceptable items for recycling and parameters of the yard waste program. A list of frequently asked solid waste questions will be included, as well as a recycling calendar. The website will include banners for special service or event announcements. Access to the website will be available through Waste Management’s website, www.wm.com, and a link will be provided to the city to include on its website.

 

Experiment with trash carts

Waste Management wishes to conduct a trial whereby a select number of Fairfield residents will be issued a trash cart, a cart exactly like their 96-gallon recycling cart only a different color. The company will offer a trash cart to each councilor, and 15 people of each councilor’s choosing from their ward. The carts will be distributed in February and evaluated in June.

Schaab brought up the prospect of testing trash carts at the council’s second meeting in October. At the time, Revolinski opposed the idea because he felt residents had already made their desires clear through surveys that they did not want expanded trash service if it meant higher costs. Schaab said at the time that distributing trash carts would incur a cost to the company, which would have to be passed on, though he didn’t know how much that would be.

 

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