Fairfield Ledger
https://fairfield-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1725023

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 20, 2018

Trash carts to be tested

Each councilor will select 10 people
By Andy Hallman, Ledger news editor | Feb 14, 2018
Photo by: PHOTO SUBMITTED This is the 96-gallon two-wheeled trash cart that select residents will begin testing out soon.

Fairfield City Councilors are soliciting people who wish to test a 96-gallon trash cart for a few months.

The trash carts belong to Waste Management and are identical to the two-wheeled recycling carts residents have now, except that the lids are green. Each of Fairfield’s seven councilors are selecting 10 people to receive the carts on a trial basis.

Those who are selected for the trial will incur no cost. They will use the trash cart just as they do their recycling cart in that they can put the trash in it loosely instead of having to bag it.

Current regulations allow residents to put out two 33-gallon bags of trash per week, but those testing the carts would be able to fill the 96-gallon container. Trash pick-up will continue weekly just as it’s always been.

 

Compromise

The program to test the carts was a compromise between the council and Waste Management. In October, Waste Management’s municipal marketing manager David Schaab pitched the idea of lending a trash cart to every residence. He said that, because it would cost the company money, it would have to pass those costs onto the city, though he didn’t know how much it would be. For that reason, the council elected not to include the trash carts in its contract extension with Waste Management.

However, the council did agree to Schaab’s request to test them on a limited basis from February through June, which is happening now. At the time, Schaab suggested giving 15 trash carts to each councilor to share with members of their ward, though that number was later reduced to 10.

Councilor Michael Halley said councilors have already received their own trash carts, though the trash carts for their residents have not arrived as of this morning.

He is curious to see how the program plays out, though he is not in favor of a program that increases costs to residents.

“My understanding is that the reason [Waste Management] wants to use these carts is because it’s easier for their trash collecting personnel to load and unload, that they can just hook the container on the side of the truck, pull a lever, and the contents fall into the truck,” he said. “For them, it’s an efficiency and cost savings. But if switching to these carts enables Waste Management to realize cost savings, then they can make the investment and not pass the cost onto the users. That’s what a lot of people are feeling.”

 

Survey results

One reason Halley is hesitant to approve an increase in trash costs comes from a survey conducted in the fall. The survey, administered both online and through a paper survey included in water bills, asked residents if they’d be willing to pay more for trash if it allowed them to discard more of it. Former councilor John Revolinski estimated in late October that the people who wanted to keep costs down outnumbered those who wanted to expand service by a ratio of 4-to-1.

Schaab has recommended the city adopt trash carts because they reduce the chance that trash will be spread around by the wind or an animal.

“The trash carts have met with great acceptance wherever they’ve been utilized,” he said in October.

Halley said one potential advantage of the trash carts is that they would allow residents to throw things away that don’t fit easily into their current bins. This is particularly true since the city ceased its twice-a-year curbside garbage pick-up years ago because it was being abused.

The day was an opportunity for residents to discard large objects like carpets from their house, but the city canceled it because too many contractors were putting their business’s refuse on a resident’s right-of-way.

Halley wants to remind residents that the trash carts belong to Waste Management, and that the company will likely retrieve them if the council does not agree to continue them.

“I’ve been telling people: don’t get rid of your other bins,” Halley said.

 

Contacting councilors

The councilors can be reached through the following ways:

First Ward: Martha Rasmussen 472-2339; rrasmus@lisco.com

Second Ward: Paul Gandy 919-7285; pdgandy@gmail.com

Third Ward: Tom Thompson 472-5630; tomt@tdtpc.com

Fourth Ward: Michael Halley 233-0445; mhalley25@gmail.com

Fifth Ward: Daryn Hamilton 919-1861; dhamilt@yahoo.com

At Large: Katy Anderson 919-7006; fairfieldkaty@gmail.com

At Large: Doug Flournoy 472-0216; dsflournoy@hotmail.com

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.