Archive for Monday, June 14, 2010

Trash service costs for Lawrence residents likely to rise with increase in landfill fees

City of Lawrence sanitation trucks return from the county landfill and pass through the North Second and Locust Street intersection Monday. An increase in landfill rates will likely mean higher costs for the city and residential customers.

City of Lawrence sanitation trucks return from the county landfill and pass through the North Second and Locust Street intersection Monday. An increase in landfill rates will likely mean higher costs for the city and residential customers.

June 14, 2010


Trash removal costs may go up

Rising costs at the landfill may be transferred to Lawrence residents, who could see a $1 increase on their bills. Enlarge video

Taking out the trash may get a little more expensive in Lawrence.

City Hall leaders have confirmed that operators with the Jefferson County-based Hamm Inc. landfill are seeking a nearly 30 percent increase in the fees they charge to accept Lawrence trash.

The fact that the company — which last year was purchased by an investment group — is seeking an increase was not a surprise. But the amount did come in above city expectations.

“We had assumed about a 10 percent increase,” City Manager David Corliss said. “We’ve expected landfill issues to become a big issue in the future, and now it looks like it is going to be a big issue in the coming weeks.”

Corliss is now estimating that Lawrence trash rates in 2011 would need to increase by 7.5 percent to cover the higher tipping fees and other operational expenses. A 7.5 percent increase would amount to an extra $1.04 per month for standard residential customers.

A bigger concern may be whether this is the first of many increases to come.

“I would say that if trends that are occurring across the country hold true here, it is likely that our landfill costs will continue to go up,” said City Commissioner Mike Dever.

The city is continuing to negotiate with Hamm to reduce the proposed rate increase. A Hamm official did not return phone calls for comment.

The rate increase has been a long time in the making. Corliss said the company has charged Lawrence the same rate, $19.15 per ton, since 1993.

The city always could choose to transport its trash to other landfills in the region, but Corliss said that option would come with new expenses related to driving trash to a more distant landfill.

Creating a new landfill doesn’t seem to be likely.

“Siting new landfill isn’t high on anybody’s list of fun things to do,” Dever said.

Instead, Dever said Lawrence’s best efforts to combat the higher tipping fees is to increase the community’s recycling rate.

“All this is based on volume and weight, so we can help keep our costs down by recycling more,” Dever said.

Deffenbaugh Industries, a major landfill operator in the Kansas City region, has started an aggressive curbside recycling program in Lawrence. But city officials said they haven’t yet done a statistical analysis to determine whether the new curbside service has significantly reduced the amount of trash city crews are hauling to the landfill.


gccs14r 7 years, 7 months ago

Lease standard containers (preferably more than one size) to residences and use an automated lift arm with a built-in scale that compensates for container tare, then charge for net weight+numer of leased containers. Once you have container standardization and automated trucks, you can also cut the trash crews per route by 2/3. Also, once you start charging for trash service based on both weight and volume, recycling rates will go way up.

Oh, when Hamms decided to sell the landfill, why didn't Lawrence or Douglas County buy it? That would have made a lot more sense long-term, since we then would have had complete control over our tipping fees. Letting private enterprise bleed the taxpayers dry for an essential service is stupid.

Evan Ridenour 7 years, 7 months ago

Hamm didn't sell the landfill. The entire corporation was bought. So... duh?

walkthehawk 7 years, 7 months ago

it's time to follow the lead of other cities and start charging those who exceed a base amount of trash (1 standard can, leased out by the city, is typical). it has been so frustrating living here over the past decade and hearing the asinine comments about how Lawrence doesn't need citywide curbside recycling because individuals "don't want to subsidize recycling for those who want to do it." Here's a newsflash: what's actually being subsidized is your outsize trash habits--disposing of it isn't free, and those of us who take the time to minimize our waste should be financially rewarded--it saves the city $, simple as that.

Kirk Larson 7 years, 7 months ago

Third. It does bug me that I do things to minimize my trash and it just goes to subsidize the more wasteful among us. This price hike should encourage more of us to: Recycle-it's easy and good in so many ways Compost-reduces landfill volume a lot and it's good for soil Reduce consumption-you know you really don't need all that useless cr@p anyway, it's just holding you down

kernal 7 years, 7 months ago

You are right and we don't need to be hauling are trash to other landfills. That would likely cost users even more. If we had curbside recycling and composting, the only thing I would need to put in my trash would be meat wrappers and the bones.

geekyhost 7 years, 7 months ago

You can get a compost bin from the city for cheap.

puckstah 7 years, 7 months ago

Agreed - choose another (better and locally owned) recycling business in town. There are many to choose from. Most of that "inexpensive recycling business' " recycling goes into the dump anyway because they don't require sorting and the recyclables are contaminated.

George_Braziller 7 years, 7 months ago

I have three trash cans. Two are for weeds and pruning from the yard and garden which go to the city compost yard and are only collected from March through November.

I have one can for trash which is usually only 1/2 full each week for the entire year. That is all that is making its way to the landfill yet my flat rate for trash collection is possibly going up 30%?

One person with half a barrel each week pays exactly the same as a family of ten? Something is wrong here.

unelectable 7 years, 7 months ago

Is it possible to go off the grid with your trash? What I mean is, is it possible for an individual to choose not to receive the municipal trash service and take there waste to a landfill on their own? I know several people who live by themselves and hardly ever generate enough waste to fill a standard trash can, let alone the one rented from the city, once a week. Sometimes they do not have a full trash can but once a month. Would it be more cost effective to these folks to deal with there waste themselves? I realize actually taking the trash to the landfill is not as easy or pleasant as putting it by the curb.

Anyone have a thought on this?

geekyhost 7 years, 7 months ago

I wouldn't want a neighbor that only takes out trash once a month. Maybe they're really not generating much, or maybe they've got a maggot, cockroach, and rat factory going on inside the garage.

lllwll 7 years, 7 months ago

Drive around when leases are up for the students. They litter the city with crap. Dumpster articles posted by LJW on what you can get doesn't help.

Recycle with a KC outfit because the present City leaders get you to pay them and you will still be taxed.

Sick of the shallow thinking.

fiercesomeus 7 years, 7 months ago

Unelectable, Hamms landfill charges a 1 ton minimum so if you decide to take the trash yourself then as of right now it would be a little over $19.00 soon to go up 30%

snoozey 7 years, 7 months ago

Bury Eudora & Topeka..The next generation will thank us.

sherlock 7 years, 7 months ago

its not fair for those that put out a little small can of trash weekly and pay the same as a house that has multiple tenants and they have a truck load of trash every week! Why should we have to pay the same if we only put out small amounts? However about the end of the lease year when one sees trash piled high for 1/4 of a block, yet they dont pay anymore than the small amount that others put out! Something is wrong with this!

cowboy 7 years, 7 months ago

Can I assume that one of the city's largest expenditures is operating without a long term contract , or even a short term contract ?

Can LJW ask the question /

LadyJ 7 years, 7 months ago

I hear some cities will fine you if you don't recycle.

puckstah 7 years, 7 months ago

Edina MN (suburb of Minneapolis) has been doing that for over 25 years. Lawrence is WAAAAAAYYYYY behind.

yankeevet 7 years, 7 months ago

Everything going up; except my paycheck.............

1029 7 years, 7 months ago

This is one of the many reasons why I'm glad I live down by the river. I'll let Eudora deal with my garbage.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 7 months ago

Pay As You Throw could reduce costs as it has in some communities because it pays for itself.

Residential Recycling The City of Lawrence encourages our citizens to recycle. Here are some local recyling resources.

* Curbside Recycling Services
* Community Drop-off Recycling Centers
* Cardboard, Newspaper & Mixed Paper Drop-off Locations
* Aluminum Drop-Off Locations
* Automotive Product Recycling
* Rechargeable Battery Recycling
* Fluorescent Lamp Recycling
* Other

Bill Lee 7 years, 7 months ago

I wish the city would separate water and trash charges, so I could pay for my water and get rid of my small amount of trash on my own. I don't generate enough trash to justify the current charge, let alone a larger one. Water is a necessity, a big truck to carry away my one small trash bag isn't.

George_Braziller 7 years, 7 months ago

How about for a start just breaking out water and sewer charges? You could water a ten acre garden with one million gallons of water and only flush the toilet once but you would still be charged for one million gallons entering the sewer system.

workinghard 7 years, 7 months ago

Sewer rates are calculated once a year during Dec, Jan, and Feb. They average the three months and figure the monthly sewer rate from that. So you can water one million gallons but your sewer rate will be the same as if you didn't water at all.

George_Braziller 7 years, 7 months ago

Oh really. Then explain to my why my charges for sewer rise during the summer when I'm watering?

jafs 7 years, 7 months ago

wh is correct, according to the city.

Your sewer rates shouldn't rise during the summer - they should be constant year round, based on the average from the winter months.

If that's not the case, call the city and find out what's going on.

workinghard 7 years, 7 months ago

If you want the lowest possible sewer rate for the entire year, use as little possible water during those three months. Don't power wash the house or fill a water bed. Wash occasional big items like comforters and bedding, rugs and such before or after those months.

Chris Ogle 7 years, 7 months ago

yankeevet (anonymous) says… Everything going up; except my paycheck.............

I know the feeling yank. Get paid on the 1st, pay bills on the 10th.... broke until the 1st, repeat

Adrienne Sanders 7 years, 7 months ago

This is ridiculous. I recycle a lot and make about one kitchen sized bag of trash every two weeks. Yet I pay the same as anyone else who makes six times as much trash. I completely resent it. But I have to say, I don't know how they would make a fairer pricing system when so many people live in apartments and use a shared dumpster.

Maybe they could at least charge by number of people per household rather than charging the same to everyone.

Adrienne Sanders 7 years, 7 months ago

What are you talking about? Trash disposal is on my water bill every month.

kernal 7 years, 7 months ago

Last time I checked (over 10 yrs ago), KS Landlord Tenant Act calls for landlords to pay for tenants trash bills charged by the cities where they live.

jafs 7 years, 7 months ago

If that's true, then many landlords are violating that requirement.

I have almost always paid for my own water/trash removal when renting.

hipper_than_hip 7 years, 7 months ago

Only when there is no muncipality that provides refuse pickup is the landlord responsible.

Paul R Getto 7 years, 7 months ago

We are in denial about several critical issues, and this is one of them. We are fighting the oil wars now in Iraq and Afghanistan; next will be fresh water wars, which lie behind much of the Irsraeli/Palestinian problem; the next wars will be over who gets to take the trash. Everything is going to get much more expensive in coming decades as we struggle with these long-term issues. Sadly, long-term thinking is a Chinese trait, not one shared by most American citizens or legislators.

Matt Schwartz 7 years, 7 months ago

“We had assumed about a 10 percent increase,” City Manager David Corliss said. know what you get when you assume Mr. Corliss.

“All this is based on volume and weight, so we can help keep our costs down by recycling more,” Dever said. #%&* sherlock. Most households could be throwing away one/two trash bags per week insteasd of three or more just by recycling, even if glass wasn't included in curbside pickup. How much of a difference in price would it be to pay to have curbside recycling in our taxes compared to how much we haul to the dump in the long run?

Douglas Garst 7 years, 7 months ago

To Easy To Clean-up Trash Service Cost

In the early 90’s I was lived in Pierce County, Tacoma, Washington and paid $35 per month for weekly trash pick-up even though I recycled paper, cans, plastic, and glass. Cost of landfill was the same issue there. So Pierce County came up with an alternative rates for trash pick-up. Pierce County provided the following containers for those that participated in recycling and reducing volume of trash that went to the landfill: one 120 gallon container for yard waste (grass clippings, leaves, small tree trimmings), four 10 gallon containers for paper, cans, plastic, and glass, and one 25 gallon container for trash to be picked –up for landfill disposal – the yard waste, recycle, and landfill containers were picked-up twice a month – the cost dropped from $35 per month to $15 per month. If a residence did not want to participate then they were provided one 50-gallon container for weekly pick-up and the cost was $75 per month. Commercial business had to recycle.

The immediate result was that trash that went to landfill was reduced by 85%. The cost reduction was easy to achieve because there was over a 50% reduction in fuel cost for weekly trash pick-up and one-third reduced labor cost.

There are counties in San Diego, CA that now only pick-up recycle and landfill trash only once a month and have just two containers, one for recycle and one for landfill trash as they have technology to allow residents to put paper, cans, plastic, and glass all in the same recycle container and is automatically separated at a recycle facility. The containers are such that there is just the truck driver as the truck picks up the trash containers. What drove San Diego to this was landfill cost but more importantly stopping underground pollution.

This recycle waste technology is far more important than any “Cap and Trade” energy that President Obama and environmentalist are pushing.

Kontum1972 7 years, 7 months ago

so may we turn down this fabulous offer from the city...or is this the final decree?

tir 7 years, 7 months ago

I agree--Pay as You Throw should be implemented. I'm tired of paying more and more for trash pickup when I recycle everything that can be recycled, and throw away maybe one bag of trash per month. Why should I get stuck footing the bill for the lazy ones who won't recycle?

thebigspoon 7 years, 7 months ago

No rate increase since 1993. 17 years and it is going up 30 percent. A 10 percent increase every 5 years doesn't seem that bad compared to a lot of other things that we use on a everyday basis. Plus when you are the only game in town what else are we to do ? They know that we have very few choices except to pay up and move on.

sourpuss 7 years, 7 months ago

Wow, that is a huge increase. It sounds like this "investment company" is trying to milk their new purchase for all its worth. Hey Lawrence, perhaps it is time to shop around? Maybe the city should develop and own its own landfill? Or be even more foresighted and develop a recycling plant/incinerator to draw out recyclables and burn the rest for power. Oh, wait, that would be too European... Who wants jobs when you can just bury the trash?

whatadrag 7 years, 7 months ago

Incinerators aren't very common in the US

justtired 7 years, 7 months ago

Everyone is complaining about a $1 increase per month. Has anyone thought about the people that would be out of a job if Deffenbaugh or automated trucks hit the street? Quit complaining about the small increase and keep fellow residents employed!!!!!!!!! If you don't generate enough trash for the fee (in your opinion), the do what some others do, find a dumpster in an alley and use it!!!!!!! By the way, the sanitation workers that have to work on holidays because businesses expect service do so because it is their job. The businesses do not pay an extra fee to off-set the cost of the extra service.

independant1 7 years, 7 months ago

Get off the garbage grid. We burn. The incinerater in basement warms the house in winter just fine. mulch wet garbage, sell beer cans, drop off plastic and glass. If only there was a way to burn the neighbor's garbage and make extra $$$ like turning your electric meter backwards.

BruceWayne 7 years, 7 months ago

now we know how the city intends to fund the clean up of the toxic waste dump they purchased.

Tim Bateman 7 years, 7 months ago

I think I should get a discount because I have curbside recycling. I guarantee you that I throw away less than the average person in town.

johnboy83 7 years, 7 months ago

Since i've started using defenbaugh recycling, I have 1/3 the trash i use to. Now they want to raise my prices because i use less trash. Must be the new owners of Hamm, wanting that bonus.

hipper_than_hip 7 years, 7 months ago

"Why not have public owned solutions such as a public owned biorefinery to turn waste into power and biofuels."

The City wants to annex Westar Lawrence into the city limits, and Westar owns a ton of land, so maybe Westar could be talked into putting a trash burner out at their Lawrence site.

Kontum1972 7 years, 7 months ago

what if you dont want to use the trash service?

Richard Heckler 7 years, 7 months ago

City Hall has plenty of information on Pay As You Throw. Implementing it is in their ballpark.

Low low landfill fees has always been the obstacle to the smart choices.

Deffenbaugh Industries is owned by a Belgium operation at this point in history.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 7 months ago

Westar also owns tons of toxic flyash that the city uses in replacing brick streets. Hmmmmmm

Incinerators produce toxic emissions.

Best go with Pay As You Throw, solar,hydropwer,windpower and recycling = thousands of new jobs across the state of Kansas.

haggisgirl 7 years, 7 months ago

Hamm hasn't had a rate increase since 1993. How can anyone be upset that their bill will now go up a whole $1 a month? Good grief. And for all you folks who don't want to pay the city and want to "take care of my own trash", in what manner are you going to take care of your own trash? Haul it to the dump yourself and pay the minimum charge? Or do you think you're somehow entitled to just throw it in some school or business's dumpster in town and let them pay for disposing of your trash?

dogsandcats 7 years, 7 months ago

I live in a four-plex and when I moved in and started a water/trash bill for my unit in my name, the city dropped off a trash bin for me. Somehow it is the only trash bin we have, as apparently the people in the other 3 units were just using plastic trash cans. But now they use my trash bin and it's full by like the 2nd day after trash pick up. Do you think if I called the city and asked them to bring trash bins for my other neighbors, they would do it?

christie 7 years, 7 months ago

Our trash pickup went DOWN, we added Recycling for FREE, and with the savings our city is paying for bus service around town.

You read that right.

By instituting a recycling program, our landfill fees dropped so much the city now pays for bus service around town.

If you're not recycling you're just throwing it all away.

KRITIKOS 7 years, 7 months ago

How can you recycle for free with the energy loss to convert a product back to a raw material The company has charged Lawrence the same rate, $19.15 per ton, since 1993. how much has the sanitation rate increased in 17yrs?
In 1998 "The city's recycling programs generated more than $30,000 in revenues this year and saved the city more than $167,000 in tipping fees at the landfill, Yoos said. Mollie Mangerich, the city's supervisor for waste reduction and recycling, said the city should recycle about 24 tons of paper from city hall this year. That's about 1.2 million sheets a year. The city has been recycling its office paper for some time, but officials only recently started keeping track of the results." Where are the last 10+ yrs of records Who quit? Christie A city saved the money it collected for sanitation fees and never gave it back to the people who had a refund due, they spent it somewhere else The city does not pay for anything The taxpayer or payer of fees is the source but any benifit is less overhead .
The volume of solids, particularly of powders, is often difficult to measure.

KRITIKOS 7 years, 7 months ago

I forgot Mr. Blevins "That is, it is impossible to extract energy by heat from a high-temperature energy source and then convert all of the energy into work. At least some of the energy must be passed on to heat a low-temperature energy sink. Thus, a heat engine with 100% efficiency is thermodynamically impossible. This also means that it is impossible to build solar panels that generate electricity solely from the infrared band of the electromagnetic spectrum without consideration of the temperature on the other side of the panel (as is the case with conventional solar panels that operate in the visible spectrum)." Energy is not "renewable" but E F Schumacher had a novel idea.

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