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Letters to the Editor

Trash efficiency

December 10, 2010

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To the editor:

Recently, there has been some discussion about the fee structure and operations of the city’s trash pickup service. The idea of forcing everyone to use a city-provided container, charging a monthly fee for it and, then, raising monthly rates is ridiculous.

I use Deffenbaugh recycling services for $14.85 per quarter. They manage to provide the container and use a mechanized vehicle to complete a route in my neighborhood with one person. Using their service has reduced my solid waste for city pickup by about 50 percent, but it takes three people for the city to complete the same route in a similar vehicle.

Perhaps the city could learn something from the private sector before it leaps into raising our rates and charging monthly fees for the container. Maybe there’s a model out there which would allow the city to be more efficient and reduce its labor costs at the same time, eliminating the need for rate increases and additional fees.

I would suggest that the city encourage recycling by offering a rebate on its trash bills for those who can document that they use a recycling service. If it is set on ordering up mandatory waste containers, then a one-time setup fee is all that might be justified. A monthly rental fee may get the city more revenue, but it’s just another tax that many can’t afford. Any plan that the city proposes should include greater efficiency and a reduction in both operational and personnel costs.

Comments

pace 3 years, 4 months ago

I have worked with Deffenbaugh in two states for over 25 years. Bait and switch, Too good to be true, theirs is a lesson I don't want to learn from them again, in my home town. That is a suckers buy.
We have good service. It has had poor manager for 20 years, but still the gang picked up the trash and helped keep the town cleaner. We need to get more demanding with the next department leader. They need to bring the system up to modern standards, automated trucks using carts would be part of that. Accounting and charging for the real cost of picking up the piles of trash from rentals at the end of the school year. That was an ugly "wink wink" practice started by good old boys. If it cost extra to pick up a hill of loose trash charge the property responsible don't pass the charge off on the 90 percent of the people who are putting their trash out in collectible ways. I rent a cart now, it is effective, good protection from the animals, nice covered container on wheels, reduces need for special bags, reduces spillage. Easy to store material in until time to wheel to the curb. It is an advantage of the carts, they don't seem to blow away as easily as many of the cans. Mine has lasted for years. I do keep it clean, washing it with a hose and brush abut 4 times a year. I heard it reduces injuries in collection. I think the cart should just be part of the trash collection not a special rental. They are going to have to raise trash rates, Hamms Landfill has been sold and is charging more, gas is up. They should supply a cart to homes where a cart would make it more efficient to collect. It is a change to use a different trash container, one that works with an automated truck.
They could pick up easily marketed recyclables, papers and metals, once a week. Plastics and glass have more expensive collection costs and less stable markets. We don't have to buy the whole pig on the first run. Every home and business in this town has recyclable paper. Sell your old dented can on Craigs list or do what I did, convert it to a composter. I will need air holes and occasional water, works though.

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parrothead8 3 years, 4 months ago

I'll be angry if the city "requires" me to use their trash receptacle. Rest assured I'll be submitting them a bill for the current trash can I own that I'll no longer have a use for...not that I expect to receive payment.

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oneeye_wilbur 3 years, 4 months ago

Meyer pays 14.85 a month and then about 12.00 a month to the city.

Okay, so if Defenabaugh picks up everything, how much will it cost each household and for multi family units (which are charged per kitchen) how much?

Numbers please J/W.

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BorderRuffian 3 years, 4 months ago

I don't know about Deffenbaugh - family members who live in Overland Park report that since Deffenbaugh was purchased by a megaconglomacorp company, they have made them use only Deffenbaugh provided containers (one for trash, the other for recycling), and that anything not inside the Deffenbaugh container will simply NOT be picked up. It used to be that Deffenbaugh, owned by the original company, would pickup nearly everything.

If you want to experience the BEST trash collection service, come out to Lecompton and sign up for Shawn Ball's service. He provides incredible service, picks up nearly anything, and is extremely accomodating. His company has to be the best service I've ever encountered. And it is reasonable!

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Abdu Omar 3 years, 4 months ago

What better use of our resources than to recycle it? Using a city provided trash container can stop those thin and light Walmart ones from blowing all over the neighborhood and into the street.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 4 months ago

Looks like Ken has swallowed Deffenbaugh's bait. But from someone whose motivation appears to be strictly ideological, that's no surprise. But we all know that if Deffenbaugh were handed full responsibility for trash collection and recycling, prices would rise, and the level of service would decline. But Ken probably wouldn't complain, because he cares more about ideological purity than good service for a fair price.

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