Archive for Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Preserve service

City officials should be careful not to reform the city’s trash service in a way that makes it worse.

January 27, 2010


The ongoing inability for the city’s solid waste division to operate in the black is cause for concern, and an audit of the division raises some issues worth considering.

However, as they consider efforts to “reform” the city’s trash collection operation, city officials should be careful not to mess up what many Lawrence residents think is a pretty good service.

It could be argued that the trash department currently is too accommodating to people who don’t put their trash out in appropriate containers. However, forcing everyone to use the large containers that can be dumped by automated trash trucks may subtly encourage households to throw out more trash rather than limiting their output to a more reasonably sized container. The large containers also are difficult for many homeowners to store inside, creating a potential eyesore in the city.

It’s also not a bad idea to look at the policy that allows workers to leave early if they’ve completed their routes, but the policy seems like a significant perk for a pretty nasty job — not to mention the incentive it provides to get routes picked up more quickly.

Charging residents according to how much trash they put out sounds like a way to raise money for the city while encouraging people to recycle more, but policing such a plan might cost more than it raises.

Improvements probably can be made that reduce trash collection costs or encourage more recycling, but the city should be careful not to take actions that could reduce the level of service the solid waste division currently provides.


Maddy Griffin 8 years, 3 months ago

Could some one teach them how to pick up what they drop? 3 weeks in a row I've had to pick up soiled pampers from my neighbor's trash that were left in the street where they fell. I didn't want to just drive over them or leave them for a stray dog to tear up.

LadyJ 8 years, 3 months ago

"However, forcing everyone to use the large containers that can be dumped by automated trash trucks" I just wanted to add that I observe our sanitary workers every week as they collect in our area. Many homes have the city containers. What the workers do first is open the lid and look inside. If everything is in trashbags, they reach in and pull them out and throw them in the truck. Only when there is loose items inside do they use the lift. Now I can see why they do it, it's much faster. So in the case of homeowners who always have everything in bags, it doesn't matter if it's a city container or not.

cowboy 8 years, 3 months ago

The writer took the bait the city laid out , " the solution is a new rate structure or new equipment". The actual solution is to manage the operation in a professional manner , annual reviews of the incentive structures , review of which operations are paying for themselves and which aren't. The city plays this game quite well under the Corliss administration , drop a bomb to get the locals fired up which is a diversion from looking at the actual problem which would require attention. This is quite simple to address and is a necessary part of any operation to review and revise. It seems the city is only able to revise and has little expertise to review.

Don't buy this tactic. Demand professional management from these highly paid management staff and make them do their jobs and get their hands dirty.

LadyJ 8 years, 3 months ago

grammaddy--Maybe part of the problem is with the neighbor. Soiled diapers should not be loose in the trash, they should be treated as hazardous waste and in a plastic bag at least. Shame on your neighbor.

equalaccessprivacy 8 years, 3 months ago

I've had the City of Lawrence pick up and dispose of and cart off my very trash can itself against decent good judgment. Maybe therefore they should be a bit accomodating --to make up for their own mistakes. I'd really appreciate getting a break on my trah bill for recycling. The city of Larence water bill is way inflated too. No one should have to skim on showers and flushing the john and still pay out the nose for this bill.

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