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Archive for Monday, December 7, 2009

Trash talk takes a turn: Plans for bills based on usage studied

Solid waste division workers Travis Lindquist, left, and Derrick Jackson empty containers into the back of a trash truck as they make their rounds Thursday on Thorn Tree Court in west Lawrence. Recommendations are being made by the city’s Sustainability Advisory Board to charge residents based on the amount of trash they throw away.

Solid waste division workers Travis Lindquist, left, and Derrick Jackson empty containers into the back of a trash truck as they make their rounds Thursday on Thorn Tree Court in west Lawrence. Recommendations are being made by the city’s Sustainability Advisory Board to charge residents based on the amount of trash they throw away.

December 7, 2009

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Board favors status quo on curbside recycling

Lawrence should continue to largely rely on a system of private companies to provide curbside recycling, according to a new set of recommendations from the city’s Sustainability Advisory Board.

The recommendations — which are similar to what the board tentatively proposed this summer — would require all private curbside recycling companies to register with the city, which will give the city more data about how many residents are recycling.

Currently, five companies provide curbside recycling services in Lawrence. The recommendations urge the city to create a marketing program to make residents more aware that private curbside services exist.

Commissioners are expected to review the recommendations in January.

  • Chad Lawhorn

You’ve seen the type before.

It looks like they’ve unloaded an entire Wal-Mart truck in their house and then thrown away all the boxes on the curb. The rows of trash cans in the driveway look like an invading army of second-class robots. On trash day, neighborhood kids mistakenly think the pile of garbage sacks is a cool climbing wall.

In Lawrence, and many other cities, that guy pays the same amount for his monthly trash service as you do, even though you have so little trash that sometimes you have to be gently reminded (guys, we won’t say by whom) to take it out.

One Lawrence advisory board is now pushing for that type of pricing system to change.

The city-appointed Sustainability Advisory Board has forwarded a set of recommendations on how it believes the city’s trash collection system should be changed. Near the top of the list is implementation of a new “pay as you throw” system that would charge residents based on how much trash they take to the curb each week.

The board is clear about why it’s seeking the changes: to encourage more recycling.

“We realize that sometimes you have to have a stick and a carrot system to get people to change,” said Daniel Poull, chair of the sustainability board.

The board believes a pay-as-you-throw system can be implemented fairly simply without going to the hassle of weighing the amount of trash each household sets out or sending out specialized bills.

“We’re thinking the simpler the better,” Poull said.

The board did not provide specific recommendations on how the system should be set up, but Poull said discussion has centered on a uniform container system.

Under that type of system, every household in the city is given the same type of rolling cart container. Households are expected to fit all their week’s worth of trash into that one container. If they have trash that won’t fit, they’ll have to pay more.

Area results

A similar type of system has been in place in Eudora and De Soto for about two years, said Randy Weldon, who operates a privately owned trash service that has the refuse contracts in both towns.

“Recycling has gone through the roof,” Weldon said.

In De Soto, prior to the new system, he used to have to empty the town’s lone recycling container — a 15-yard divided Dumpster — about once per month. Now, he empties it about three times per week. Results have been similar in Eudora.

In Eudora and De Soto, households are given a 96 gallon trash container. If they routinely have more trash than can fit in that container, they can pay an extra $3 per month to receive a second container. If households only occasionally have more trash than can fit in the container, they can purchase bag tags from their City Hall. One tag, which costs a dollar, entitles the household to put out one bag in addition to their trash container.

Weldon thinks the changes have added fairness to the system.

“I guess the whole thing is with every other utility, you pay for what you use,” Weldon said. “I just think people need to be responsible for their trash too.”

Lawrence board members, though, know such a system in Lawrence may have its detractors.

“I don’t know what the overall feeling from the public would be,” Poull said. “I know people are happy with the service right now because there are no real restrictions, no real challenges. You can throw about anything away, and it gets picked up.”

There may be other concerns as well. Poull said the board has been told that the system may require hiring a new administrative position for the solid waste department. In tight budget times, that could be a deal killer.

In the past, concerns also have been expressed that a pay-as-you throw system would encourage some households to illegally dump their trash in commercial Dumpsters or elsewhere.

Wider interest

City Hall staff members are expected to deliver in January a report on the recommendations to city commissioners.

Lawrence staff members won’t be alone in studying the issue. The Johnson County Environmental Department recently recommended that all of Johnson County — both the cities and the rural areas — be required to use a pay-as-you-throw system. All licensed trash haulers in Johnson County also would be required to offer a curbside recycling service, said Betsy Betros, pollution control director with the department.

“There are over 6,000 of these programs in the country right now,” Betros said. “They have exploded in popularity because they are a driving force in recycling.”

The Johnson County Commission likely will consider those recommendations this spring.

Comments

George Lippencott 4 years, 4 months ago

merrill (Anonymous) says…

PAYT should pay for itself. Pay-As-You-Throw - Let's Start Rewarding the Recyclers! by Mark Ruzzin

Merrill you live in an "Alice in Wonderland" world.

People living in apartment would not be filling a 96 gallon can. They would have a dumpster. How do we make that equitable??

Just like health care you argue this will not cost anything. Just like it has been shown with health care you are way off base.

The city cans are not free. Those having to get one to meet the new requirement will pay. The large family who can not live with one such can will also pay. The city will pay for the administration. I am not sure from where any savings would come.

Recycling is a "red herring” we have it and we can expand it by just requiring it. Other jurisdictions have done so and the commercial world has responded appropriately.

In your world if the government doesn’t do it, it should not be done (a bit overstated)!

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Marion Lynn 4 years, 4 months ago

cont'd:

Obviously and as usual, the real landfill problem is not a landfill problem at all but a political problem. “Fears about the effects of landfills on the local environment have led to the rise of the not-in-my-backyard (NIMBY) syndrome, which has made permitting facilities difficult. Actual landfill capacity is not running out” (ibid).

In a true laissez-faire society, the free market in response to the increased demand would simply build bigger landfills, which would make for bigger disposal capacity. A very straightforward process that is subverted only by those who wish to impose their will upon the rest of the world.

There’s also this:

Over the past 10 years, more than half of the 18,500 municipal solid waste landfills that existed in 1979 have closed. Further, once lined and covered, a landfill is not permanently unusable. Parks, golf courses and buildings cover the surface of some covered landfills. Properly sited and operated, landfills pose little threat either to human health or to the environment.

And:

“The total US waste throughout the 21st century could be deposited in a single square landfill, less than 18 miles on the side — or 26 percent of Woodward County, Oklahoma” (Lomborg, The Skeptical Environmentalist, 2001).

More on the landfill myths may be found here:

http://www.manhattan-institute.org/energymyths/myth5.htm

http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/earth/4290631.html

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Marion Lynn 4 years, 4 months ago

http://fortcollinsteaparty.com/index.php/2009/06/01/the-myth-of-shrinking-landfill-space/

The Myth of Shrinking Landfill Space:

"The following is by way of an anodyne for any guilt you may (or may not) feel about the fact that as a living breathing entity, you produce rubbish:

All the rubbish produced by the United States for the next one thousand years could fit into a landfill forty-four miles square by 120 feet deep — that’s one tenth of one percent of all this country’s entire land area. (”A Consumer’s Guide to Environmental Myths and Realities,” Policy Report #99, National Center for Policy Analysis, Dallas, TX, September 1991, 3, Clark Wiseman of Gonzaga University.)

Roughly 75 percent of all solid waste in America ends up in landfills. And yet despite the many possible places landfills can and do safely exist, the number of landfills receiving trash is shrinking. Why? In a word: technology — the very thing environmentalists despise.

Recycling is pushed for so savagely in large part to avoid at any cost using landfills, total costs be hanged. This puerile policy came about mainly because so many people, jumping on the environmental bandwagon, feared that that world was running out of landfill space.

And the real war against landfills of course hit a new high in the 1990s when bureaucrats incorrectly claimed that we faced “a garbage crisis because we are running out of landfill space.”

One of the main culprits public officials cited for this phony problem was that existing landfills would close in 5 to 10 years. What they did not tell you, however, is that this isn’t news: in fact, it’s true at any point in time because landfills last only that long.

Problems arise when states fail to permit new facilities. There was in the 1990s (and still is) plenty of land on which to place new landfills. During the alleged landfill crisis, A. Clark Wiseman of Gonzaga University pointed out that, given projected waste increases, we would still be able to fit the next 1,000 years of trash in a single landfill 120 feet deep, with 44-mile sides. He wasn’t suggesting building such a large landfill, his point was simple: land disposal needs are small compared with the land available in the 3 million square miles of the contiguous United States.

cont'd:

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Pilgrim2 4 years, 4 months ago

Informed (Anonymous) says…

The system you mention, jrlii, sounds like the one in Olathe. The residents are given a certain number of city-labeled trash bags each year. Additional ones can be purchased. Families that don't use their total, can give/sell them to whomever they like. It works well there, and I'm sure it would work well in Lawrence.


That was the old system. Olathe now uses the 96-gal rolling containers, and they have purchased trucks that can pick them up and dump them with only the driver involved. They are also going to a smaller, separate rolling container for recycling the first of the new year, along with the imposition of a fee increase. But in Olathe, if you have extra bags or other things that won't fit in the container, they pick those up, too, no extra charge.

What I'm trying to figure out is, Olathe claims the new recycling program will save it $400k in disposal fees each year, but they're charging more for the service. If the city is saving money, charging more doesn't make sense. That's like saying the price of oil went down, so the gas stations should charge more. It's backwards.

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notajayhawk 4 years, 4 months ago

parrothead8 (Anonymous) says…

"I think I like the idea to pay for use. We never have more than about one small bag per week. It doesn't seem right to me that people haul loads to their curb that would fill an entire pickup truck and they pay the same despite the fact that it takes TWO guys about TEN times as long to load their trash as it takes ONE guy to load mine."

The problem being that your neighbors will still be putting out that mountain of disposed-of goods. Whether they have ten cans full of trash or one can of trash and nine of 'recyclables', they're still going to be putting out the same amount. It will just be in several separate containers requiring more than one pick-up vehicle to collect.

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 4 months ago

No one will be forced to recycle just as no one will be forced to throw stuff away.

Some of us will pay more to keep throwing stuff away and some of us will pay a little less.

Some of us will pay to recycle and some of us will not recycle.

There are many ways to recycle: curbside Social Sevice League Turn disposables into art projects( kinda like City Museum in St Louis) Lasting Impressions Trading with others Give unwanted gifts to someone else who would love to have that gift Haul your neighbors leaves into your yard for mulch and composting Use wine and brew bottles as edging Share The Warmth Program Use branches and/or fallen tree trunks as edging Check with furniture reupholstering craftsman who might see value in old furniture - donate donate donate Use scraps from construction sites to build a tree house or chicken coop/pen * and more

It's all about economics.

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 4 months ago

PAYT should pay for itself. Pay-As-You-Throw - Let's Start Rewarding the Recyclers! by Mark Ruzzin

Pay-As-You-Throw Comes to Boulder Here's an idea: What if we were to charge for garbage collection in the same way we charge for water? The water bill for your xeriscaped yard is much less than that of a neighbor who needs to water his large Kentucky Bluegrass lawn daily during the summer-long struggle to keep it green. Similarly, as conscientious recyclers, shouldn't your family be rewarded for your efforts to save valuable resources (just as you are for conserving water), rather than being charged the same as the household who throws everything away?

In Boulder County today, garbage collection rates are not unit-based, like water rates, but rather volume-based: it costs just slightly more to throw out two garbage cans per week than to throw out one. This volume-based approach to charging for garbage collection creates an incentive to produce more trash; the more you throw out, the less it costs on a volume basis. But you don't pay less per unit of water if you use more of it; why then should your cost per unit of trash go down if you throw out more garbage?

The unit-based approach to garbage collection is called Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT), and is used in thousands of communities across the United States. In fact, though it has yet to take hold in Boulder County, PAYT is one of the hottest new waste reduction trends spreading across the country.

Here's how it works. Once a "unit" is defined (for example, a typical 32-gallon trash can), each can of service costs the same. Throwing out two cans per week costs twice as much as throwing out one can. Five-can service costs five times as much as one-can service, and so on. This creates a financial incentive for households and rewards those who reduce waste and recycle - the less you throw out, the less you pay.

Key to making PAYT work is providing opportunities for people to do something with their trash other than throwing it out. Waste reduction and precycling education programs, reuse facilities, expansion of curbside collection services, yard and other organic waste composting programs - these are the other puzzle pieces needed to allow PAYT to flourish.

A recent EPA analysis has shown that PAYT is a key component of the discard management programs of communities diverting 50% or more of their waste stream. With our own 50% diversion goal looming ahead of us in 2005, the time has come for Boulder County communities to take a serious look at Pay-As-You-Throw as a waste reduction tool for the future.

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Number_1_Grandma 4 years, 4 months ago

Until the city requires the trash collectors to work 8 hrs for 8 hrs paid, no increase in fees should happen. An audit of the sanitation department would find that forcing trash collectors to work the hours paid would find plenty of money savings and possibly cut the workforce needed to collect trash.

City Auditor, please hurry your audit of sanitations!

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George Lippencott 4 years, 4 months ago

safi (Anonymous) says…

You can have it any time as we do. You just have to pay for it. Was your plan to make someone else pay for it so you can have it??

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igby 4 years, 4 months ago

I pay the city a lot of money to pick up one poly cart a week. Way too much money to begin with.

If the greeny scumbag carrot tote'in liberals want to recycle then they can pick it up out of the street.

Just look at last summers trash dumped in the street in Italy!

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safi 4 years, 4 months ago

I would do this only if there was curbside recycling. It works. My in-laws have mandatory curbside recycling. They seem to have adapted. Make curbside recycling mandatory. I think that it is funny that Lawrence is supposed to be so hippie-ish and progressive, yet recycling is considered only an option.

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George Lippencott 4 years, 4 months ago

honestone (Anonymous) says… Yes, being fair is sometimes difficult. So much easier to confine our climate change initiatives to a minority in Lawrence-single family owner occupied homes.

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 4 months ago

"every household in the city is given the same type of rolling cart container. Households are expected to fit all their week’s worth of trash into that one container. If they have trash that won’t fit, they’ll have to pay more."

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honestone 4 years, 4 months ago

I am curious as HOW you would charge apartment complexes...places like Dillons and other retail establishments. I heard the locking trash bin idea but then I wonder...how do the tenants throw out their trash...does the city provide apartment dwellers with keys...who pays for those and who maintains the locks on the trash bins. What do the complexs and other retailer do when someone uses their unprotected bins. Questions...questions...questions

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ShePrecedes 4 years, 4 months ago

I think that rental owners should be charged so much more than they are.

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George Lippencott 4 years, 4 months ago

  1. Equity - One of the most important advantages of a variable-rate program may be its inherent fairness. When the cost of managing trash is hidden in taxes or charged at a flat rate, residents who recycle and prevent waste subsidize their neighbors' wastefulness. Under PAYT, residents pay only for what they throw away.

If it extends to everybody. Rentals, government facilities, schools, resturants, etc.

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George Lippencott 4 years, 4 months ago

merrill (Anonymous) says…

Merrill it is a good idea but how do you make it just. You ducked all those issues as you always do when you want to sell something.

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Flap Doodle 4 years, 4 months ago

"Gardeners who use a petrol-driven lawnmower could be breathing in cancer-causing chemicals along with the smell of freshly-mown grass. A Swedish-based scientist has found that just one-hour's mowing could produce the same amount of carcinogens as an average car does in a 150km drive. " http://www.mindfully.org/Air/Lawnmower-Exhaust.htm

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 4 months ago

In communities with pay-as-you-throw programs (also known as unit pricing or variable-rate pricing), residents are charged for the collection of municipal solid waste—ordinary household trash—based on the amount they throw away. This creates a direct economic incentive to recycle more and to generate less waste.

Traditionally, residents pay for waste collection through property taxes or a fixed fee, regardless of how much—or how little—trash they generate. Pay-As-You-throw (PAYT) breaks with tradition by treating trash services just like electricity, gas, and other utilities. Households pay a variable rate depending on the amount of service they use. Environment/Equity/Economy

Most communities with PAYT charge residents a fee for each bag or can of waste they generate. In a small number of communities, residents are billed based on the weight of their trash. Either way, these programs are simple and fair. The less individuals throw away, the less they pay.

EPA supports this new approach to solid waste management because it encompasses three interrelated components that are key to successful community programs:

  1. Environmental Sustainability - Communities with programs in place have reported significant increases in recycling and reductions in waste, due primarily to the waste reduction incentive created by PAYT. Less waste and more recycling mean that fewer natural resources need to be extracted. In addition, greenhouse gas emissions associated with the manufacture, distribution, use, and subsequent disposal of products are reduced as a result of the increased recycling and waste reduction PAYT encourages. In this way, PAYT helps slow the buildup of greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere which leads to global climate change. For more information on the link between solid waste and global climate change, go to EPA's Climate Change Web site.

  2. Economic Sustainability - PAYT is an effective tool for communities struggling to cope with soaring municipal solid waste management expenses. Well-designed programs generate the revenues communities need to cover their solid waste costs, including the costs of such complementary programs as recycling and composting. Residents benefit, too, because they have the opportunity to take control of their trash bills.

  3. Equity - One of the most important advantages of a variable-rate program may be its inherent fairness. When the cost of managing trash is hidden in taxes or charged at a flat rate, residents who recycle and prevent waste subsidize their neighbors' wastefulness. Under PAYT, residents pay only for what they throw away.

    EPA believes that the most successful programs bring these components together through a process of careful consideration and planning. This Web site was developed as part of EPA's ongoing efforts to provide information and tools to local officials, residents, and others:

http://www.epa.gov/waste/conserve/tools/payt/index.htm

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Benjamin Roberts 4 years, 4 months ago

Marion (Marion Lynn) says… "...How “green” is that?"

gccs14r (Anonymous) says… "Marion, there's more to consider than just the fuel used..."

Yes, you must consider how it makes people feel. It is not the end result that matters; it is simply the intention that counts.

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Patrick Rooney 4 years, 4 months ago

What about the older folks that have problems pushing or pulling a large can? My grandmother lives on her own and had her smaller cart stolen and when they replaced it with the tall 96 gallon can she was unable to move it. How will they be able to to do this without having another person take there cans down? I live in Eudora, good luck at christmas time!

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kuslaves 4 years, 4 months ago

dulcinea47 (Anonymous) says… "I would love to pay based on usage b/c I fill less than one kitchen sized trash bag per week, yet pay the same as large families… but how the heck is this supposed to work for apartment complexes where you have a communal dumpster?"

Then you have the KU Dorms and Scholarship Halls garbage, dumpsters and compactors. They do recycle somewhat, but then again more of it makes its way to the dump than recycled.

And to save on food waste cost at the dining halls, (Mrs. E's), they put more food down the disposals than the illegally connected to a grease interceptor can handle, so eventual the city sees it anyway just in puree form at the water waste plant.

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sourpuss 4 years, 4 months ago

This would work better if the city would pick up recycling too, or at least contract it out to a few companies.

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George Lippencott 4 years, 4 months ago

This is a neat idea. Details on implementation could, however, undermine the effort. Does this mean that a widower will have the same allocation of trash as a family of eight? Does this mean that single-family residential properties will have a limit but apartments will not? What about commercial interests?

Seems like we have all these good ideas that completely ignore any attempt at equity? In fact, that seems to be the problem with the whole environmental effort. The ends justify the means. Get those single-family properties because we can. To demand sacrifice from others is too hard so we will skip them.

You know everybody does not and does not desire to live the same. Maybe instead of trying to demonize ways of living we should set a basic carbon allowance per individual. If you exceed it, you pay a penalty. How you do that is your choice. In fact, we should even charge for children. The carbon footprint of a new addition is monstrous compared to keeping your home a degree cooler than what big daddy says you should.

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gccs14r 4 years, 4 months ago

Marion, there's more to consider than just the fuel used by the trucks. The landfill has a finite lifespan, too. Maybe you won't be here in 80 years, but I might be.

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Adrienne Sanders 4 years, 4 months ago

I would love to pay based on usage b/c I fill less than one kitchen sized trash bag per week, yet pay the same as large families... but how the heck is this supposed to work for apartment complexes where you have a communal dumpster?

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kuslaves 4 years, 4 months ago

chic (Anonymous) says… "and where are we supposed to put the recycle? Some of us who do not have a vehicle are not able to use up several gallons of gasoline each week to drive our SUV's to someplace which is supposed to accept it… (but which sometimes just throws it away, anyhow)"

I've seen recyclable materials turned away many times by Walmart, sometimes they just can't handle the load...so yes, it went to the dump many many times... Shameful that the the city wants to place more of the full burden of more recycling on Walmart center, for whom they did not even want in Lawrence as a big box retailer in the first place.

Where is the "City of Lawrence" recycling center? http://www.ci.lawrence.ks.us/wrr/residentialrecycling1 Are we going to pay another city capable of handling our recyclable garbage?

Bad idea Lawrence, do it right, or don't do it at all.

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Marion Lynn 4 years, 4 months ago

Yeah, the Deffenbaugh recycling trucks...separate from the trash trucks but both get the same fuel economy...

Two to four miles per gallon.

How "green" is that?

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Norma Jeane Baker 4 years, 4 months ago

The system you mention, jrlii, sounds like the one in Olathe. The residents are given a certain number of city-labeled trash bags each year. Additional ones can be purchased. Families that don't use their total, can give/sell them to whomever they like. It works well there, and I'm sure it would work well in Lawrence.

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kmat 4 years, 4 months ago

chic (Anonymous) says…

and where are we supposed to put the recycle? Some of us who do not have a vehicle are not able to use up several gallons of gasoline each week to drive our SUV's to someplace which is supposed to accept it… (but which sometimes just throws it away, anyhow)


Assinine comment. To start, you can have your recycling picked up curbside if you don't have transportation to take it to the recycling center. And I manage to drive my compact car full of recycling once a month to the recycling center and I use maybe 1/3 gallon of gas (if that). Hmmmm, throw away a bunch of sh*t that will sit in a landfill forever or drive once a month to the recycling center.

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Josh Hunt 4 years, 4 months ago

It's great to see Lawrence taking a stab at encouraging recycling (sort of). At my house we use a very affordable private recycling service, it comes out to $4.50 a week and they take all recyclables except for foams. We have one of those green roll-aways and it only needs to be put out about every 4 or 5 weeks. We recycle at least 3 times as much as we throw out and its pretty simple. As for where to put it, some services provide containers but I recommend buying a drawer system so it can live outside next to your garbage receptacle. If the city implement's this "pay by use" plan I think it should try to couple it with some sort of recycling program, even if it means farming it out and cutting a group rate deal with an existing recycling company. Either way this should save the city money and encourage more recycling.

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KUgrad09 4 years, 4 months ago

Let KCMO teach us all a lesson. 2 bags of trash per week and unlimited CURBSIDE recycling. Yes, curbside. Let me explain that for you Lawrencians who can't seem to figure it out. You just put your recyclables in a bin and set it on the curb and it gets picked up. You don't have to separate it out or bring it to a specified location. This works great! If you need to put an extra bag out you can buy tags/stickers to place on that bag at certain retailers around KC. Great system! Lawrence is behind the times.

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Tongie_soccer 4 years, 4 months ago

We have this in Tonganoxie through Defenbaugh (sp?) - it works very nicely. We can put out yard waste in the proper bags any time and any large item will be picked up on the 1st trash day of the month w/o additional fees. There is no curbside recycling but large containers at a central location. We recycle milk jugs, and cardboard/chipboard there. Paper goes to the elementary school program and soda cans we bring to the Haskell street recycling to get a few bucks each month. We should do tin cans and glass but have run out or room. :-) We have never had to buy a bag tag, even at the holidays and we have 3 children.

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equalaccessprivacy 4 years, 4 months ago

Changing this system will help many residents to realize advantages to recycling. Because I recycle I end up ordinarily only putting out only two small kitchen-sized garbage bags per month. Given the way the City of Lawrence Finance Office seems to gouge us on our monthly water and trash pick-up bills I do hope some more equitable and environmentally-friendly changes can quickly happen. It shouldn't take much "study" --just planning and strategizing.

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tubs_of_love 4 years, 4 months ago

Alright, how about this, I pay the extra $3 and when I throw out extra trash, the garbage men don't throw my dumpster down as if they are pissed off. You are garbage men.

"Who's gonna clean up this mess? I'll tell you who's gonna clean up this mess. You, because you are a garbage man." -The Burbs

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Jeanne Cunningham 4 years, 4 months ago

and where are we supposed to put the recycle? Some of us who do not have a vehicle are not able to use up several gallons of gasoline each week to drive our SUV's to someplace which is supposed to accept it... (but which sometimes just throws it away, anyhow)

Seems as if one of the downsides of this is the overhead that would be added in order to administer it. But, then the prices could always be raised - right???

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Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 4 months ago

As a devoted Walmart shopper I am offended by this reference to Walmart consumers.

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Marion Lynn 4 years, 4 months ago

Wait until a group of Somali pirates puts a rocket through the hull of an oil tanker, which eventually they will, and your energy costs will be so high that you will be burning anything that will burn to keep warm.

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lithium45 4 years, 4 months ago

In Colorado we all had a standard size trash cans the bigger the trash can the more you paid. If you had extra bags then you could buy a coupon that you could attach to the trash bags. It was a dollar for each coupon and they were virtually everywhere.

Then again the city provided recycling and you received 2 bins and could just put all recyclables into one bin from glass to steel cans and then all paper products in another instead of lugging everything down to Walmart

We also received a bin for leaves, grass clippings etc. The cost for all of this was comparable to what we pay in Lawrence. Interesting how this will all go.

You were not 'forced' to use the city but could go through a third party trash service as well.

Funny article as we have a neighbor who seems to throw out a 'mountain' of trash each week. I really have no idea where they get so much trash each week.

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parrothead8 4 years, 4 months ago

Marion (Marion Lynn) says… Save the paper products and burn them in your wood stove.

Years ago when I lived in CA, I used to do that until I discovered how many harmful chemicals are released into the air by burning most paper products. It's better to recycle them so they simply get pulped into mush, then re-used as a different paper product. Fewer chemicals are used than when they make brand-new paper products, and fewer trees die. More trees mean cleaner air, soil, and water. Cleaner air, soil, and water mean healthier citizens. Healthier citizens require less health care. Fewer dollars spent on health care means more disposable income for the healthier citizens and fewer government expenditures. More disposable income for healthy citizens and fewer government expenditures mean...oh, you get it. Just recycle. It's healthy.

I think I like the idea to pay for use. We never have more than about one small bag per week. It doesn't seem right to me that people haul loads to their curb that would fill an entire pickup truck and they pay the same despite the fact that it takes TWO guys about TEN times as long to load their trash as it takes ONE guy to load mine.

Then again, maybe I don't really care. It's not like I pay that much for trash service as it is, and I DO like having the option to throw away a truckload of stuff if the need arises.

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bookemdano 4 years, 4 months ago

Glad to see Lawrence is considering this. I remember saying in a post last year dealing with how to finance a city-run curbside recycling service that they ought to charge based on how much trash people set out.

Hope it makes it through all the hoops.

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quimby 4 years, 4 months ago

This is a great idea and I hope it is approved in some form. We set out our city-provided trash receptacle about once every 3 weeks, and it's still not full (b/c we recycle everything we can). It definitely doesn't make sense for us to have to pay as much as those who fill up multiple trash cans every week...

Check out the city of Mission's program - a modified pay as you throw program: http://www.mission-ks.org/index.aspx?nid=20

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verity 4 years, 4 months ago

A few years ago my neighbors moved out, leaving trash scattered all over their back yard. I was going to go over and pick it up and put it in their garbage can and my own after they had been emptied by the trash pickup. However, the trash pickup people spent some time gathering all their garbage up when they came. While that was very nice of them, it was surely not cost-effective use of their time. Does anybody know if Lawrence has rules/laws which apply to this?

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jrlii 4 years, 4 months ago

Rather than providing expensive (and huge) rolling containers, I'd suggest issuing city-branded trash bags, say sixty a year, five per month.

Those bags would be collected for the base rate, but others would cost extra.

This allows for a certain degree of flexibility allowing for "trash surges" like at Christmas and would even allow for people like me who would use far fewer, to give or sell our surplus to more trash-intensive households.

Cap and trade at the household level. . .

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areyouserious 4 years, 4 months ago

And what if I don't put out any trash in a given week?? Do I get a credit?? This is absurd!

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nobody1793 4 years, 4 months ago

96 Gallons? Wow, I'd still be overcharged. I only have one "kitchen size" trash bag every other week.

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georgeofwesternkansas 4 years, 4 months ago

Why is the LJW not talking about Climate-gate??

I thought you folks were always interested in the truth??

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gccs14r 4 years, 4 months ago

There may be some attempts to get around it in the beginning, but getting busted and having to deal with the cops and courts will put a stop to it. Commercial dumpsters will just get locking lids. As for my own, I don't put the trash out until I leave for work in the morning, which is after 8 a.m.

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headdoctor 4 years, 4 months ago

gccs14r (Anonymous) says… Douglas county isn't sparsely populated enough for folks to get away with illegal dumping. Someone will see you, and they won't take kindly to the city folk trashing up the countryside. If you're lucky, you'll just get your tag number turned in.


Really? It would be nice if that were the case. While illegal dumping may not at the time be at the level it was some years back, it still goes on. I don't know if you venture around the county much but there is a lot of trash and especially tires still being dumped. I sure wished that I could catch the jerks that keep dumping on my property.

Personally I think the biggest reason there haven't been as much dumping in the country in recent years is Lawrence has one of the most friendly trash policies of any City around.

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Healthcare_Moocher 4 years, 4 months ago

Administrative costs will eat up any savings if the city administration has anything to do with it. The city should get out of the trash business. Imagine all the money they would save. They should put the trash service out for bids and turn it into a revenue stream and reduce our property taxes.

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cowboy 4 years, 4 months ago

I'd like to see the solid waste audit publicly reviewed prior to any rate / procedure issues being enacted.

the city has a 5% increase on the books already for 2010. This is an across the board increase residential and commercial.

The city needs to take a hard look at what services are paying for themselves and which ones aren't.

We pick up yard waste March thru December , either cut it out completely or cut it back to April thru November. And be sure to lose the hours when services are cut !

To create an administrative system to recover a few bucks here and there seems very inefficient and in fact the way the city does business would probably lose money.

It would be completely irresponsible to enact proposed solutions prior to an honest evaluation of the operation from top to bottom. The hours and wage practices in this department are suspect , the usage of major resources for yard waste collection , the cost of the composting operation , the cost of commercial services , and the city's seeming desire to compete with local recyclers needs a thorough and open review.

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Amy Heeter 4 years, 4 months ago

Also credit should be issued for those who recycle. Since the city plans to hire yet another administrator make him/her earn their keep. For instance if a person donates a couch to the goodwill they could get a reciept from them to include with their monthly payment. Credit could be issued on the next months bill equal to the cost a person would have to pay if the couch was left on the curb

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Marion Lynn 4 years, 4 months ago

Save the paper products and burn them in your wood stove.

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Amy Heeter 4 years, 4 months ago

I think too that landlords who rent to students will be penalized for excess trash when semesters end. There needs to be some kind of system on place for those who rent units. A flat fee for furniture and other large items during peak periods. Maybe a free day two or times a year to accomodate move out times. Community members could schedule furniture removal around the peak move out times.

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Amy Heeter 4 years, 4 months ago

I rent two containers from the city. One for trash and the other for yard waste. On off seasons I do not return the unused can. I donate clothing and household goods to the Social Service League or Freecycle unwanted items. There have been times I felt like items were not worth giving away but once on the curb someone always picks it up before trash crews arrive.. I don't have a problem paying for additional refuse removal but feel the city should have some regular program for yard waste that does not require me to cut limbs in 18in. sections or require me to cut large limbs to fit in cans. If the city is going to hire yet another administrator then there should be a regular schedule for crews to send a chipper around especially after storms. There should also be some consideration for peak trash times such as christmas. The average household does not generate alot of trash but that may increase during the holidays. If the city intends to require members to recycle the cost should be feesible especially for seniors who may be on a set income. I suggest a waiver system for those who could not afford the additional costs. I too see a problem with people using the dump-ster method to avoid additional costs. Not long ago I witnesses a man throwing what appeared to be remodeling trash in a convience store dumpster. I would expect that if the city plans to bill per use that business owners would be able to expect some kind of protection under the new poicy so that they are not paying extra for trash that is dumped unlawfully.

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Randall Barnes 4 years, 4 months ago

GCCS14R I BET YOU CAN PUT A GROCERY BAG FULL TO THE CURB YOU WANNA BET IT WILL BE OVERFLOWING BY MORNING FROM YOUR NEIGHBORS ? AND THE GAS STATION DUMPSTERS AROUND TOWN WILL BE OVERFLOWING AS WELL, AND WHAT ABOUT YOUR OLD BED OR COUCH THAT YOU SIT OUT HOW MUCH FOR THAT ??????

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LogicMan 4 years, 4 months ago

"If they routinely have more trash than can fit in that container, they can pay an extra $3 per month to receive a second container. If households only occasionally have more trash than can fit in the container, they can purchase bag tags from their City Hall. One tag, which costs a dollar, entitles the household to put out one bag in addition to their trash container."

Sounds fair and reasonable. Do it, with one exception: make it easier to buy the tags, for example have grocery stores', Target's, Wal-mart's, ... customer service centers have them for sale.

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 4 months ago

Create a stiff penalty for illegal dumping about 10 times the annual cost of following the rules.... for the first offense. Then 20 times then 40 times etc etc.

This is also seen as a method that could pay for itself.

The old method teaches irresponsibility and reckless behavior plus gets into my wallet. The more that is thrown away the the quicker the trucks fill up the more trips to the dump the more gas at 3 mpg gets burned.

Not only that the dump has new owners which may increase the price per load in due time.

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gccs14r 4 years, 4 months ago

Douglas county isn't sparsely populated enough for folks to get away with illegal dumping. Someone will see you, and they won't take kindly to the city folk trashing up the countryside. If you're lucky, you'll just get your tag number turned in.

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headdoctor 4 years, 4 months ago

And so the illegal dumping begins.

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gccs14r 4 years, 4 months ago

96 gallons? That's huge. We have a 30 gallon can that routinely has only one or two 8-gallon bags in it. The lady next door puts out one partial 8-gallon bag per week. The folks down the street need a 3 yard dumpster, though. I hope the city offers a smaller container.

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