Archive for Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Lawrence city commissioners set one-year deadline for trash task force to make recommendations

February 15, 2011


If there are to be any changes to the city’s trash system, they likely won’t happen as quickly as once thought.

City commissioners at their meeting on Tuesday agreed to create a seven- to 11-member trash task force but said a proposed May 15 deadline for the task force to deliver recommended changes to city commissioners was unrealistic.

“We have a one-shot opportunity to get this right,” City Commissioner Rob Chestnut said. “I think it is six to 12 months at least. There will be a lot of people, quite honestly, pulling in different directions on this.”

Commissioners settled on a one-year deadline for the task force, meaning the city likely won’t be able to include changes as part of its 2012 budget.

The task force will consider several ideas that could be controversial, including mandating customers use plastic carts instead of bags or cans; new rate systems that charge people based on their volume of trash; and privatization of the city-owned trash service

The issue of privatization came up briefly at Tuesday’s meeting. Commissioner Mike Dever said he wanted the task force’s report to be done in such a way that it could be compared with the costs a private provider would charge to operate a system in Lawrence.

Jim Mullins, a Lawrence resident and a field director for Americans for Prosperity, asked commissioners to be sure to include private individuals on the task force that would push the task force to explore privatization.

“I think you need the input of some citizens on there instead of just city staff,” Mullins said. “We need to make sure we have citizens on there to ask some tough questions.”

Mayor Mike Amyx said he does intend for the task force to have representation from outside City Hall. People interested in serving on the task force should contact the City Manager’s office on the fourth floor of City Hall within the next two weeks.


irvan moore 7 years, 4 months ago

thank you commissioners for being reasonable on this one.

Bob Forer 7 years, 4 months ago

Apparently, the need to give the issues careful consideration trumped the ill-advised desire to "rush this through." Thank goodness for that.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 4 months ago

"Jim Mullins, a Lawrence resident and a field director for Americans for Prosperity, asked commissioners to be sure to include private individuals on the task force that would push the task force to explore privatization."

Obviously, he means himself as a representative of the Koch brothers, who along with their front group, Americans for Prosperity, have already made up their minds on this on strictly ideological grounds.

sallyone 7 years, 4 months ago

Yes, the city NEEDS to turn the trash operations over to a private company, hopefully deffenbaugh.

LawrenceJR 7 years, 4 months ago

Don't you realize how many trash workers will lose their jobs if the city goes private. Many of those guys have been working there for years and probably won't be able to find another job in Lawrence just like everyone else. I thought we were supposed to be working on making new jobs for the economy not taking jobs away. The one day this winter we had a pretty bad snow deffenbaugh canceled its service to pick up trash and recycling not just in Lawrence but in surrounding areas, the City's trash service doesn't have a cancellation on record and that goes back 35 years. My dad is a sanitation worker, think about how you would effect them and their families by going private.

Bob Forer 7 years, 4 months ago

Please extend my thanks to your father and his co-workers. Its a dirty and grueling job that the guys perform quite well. I think a lot of citizens agree with you 100%.

Frank Hays 7 years, 4 months ago

Amen! We need to keep these jobs in Lawrence. The day of the big storm my trash folks were here early as I was digging my driveway out. I would gladly pay more to keep the city workers on the payroll versus letting private industry bend us over in the long run. If we are going to privatize our trash service maybe we better privatize our local politicians as well. Maybe outsource these bums for a better return on our dollar than we are getting now!!!

MattRx 7 years, 4 months ago

I received a call from Deffenbaugh cancelled service on two days and I think they didn't pick up on one other day. I'm not saying they're bad but being a private company allows them to make these decisions based on cost/safety.

If there are any changes made my only hope is that we FINALLY have a city-wide recycling service. All the lawrence people I know would support this. I lived in Reno NV for a year and it was SOOOO nice to have the city provide a couple bins for different recyclable materials and have the trash picked up at the same time.

average 7 years, 4 months ago

The best trash service I ever got was in a town where it was really privatized. 7 or 8 different companies in a town a quarter the size of Lawrence. Much cheaper for twice-weekly service, and friendly, since you could change service any day.

I understand natural monopolies on things that have pipelines and rights-of-way. But, trash service is something that can have competition. I sincerely hope that if the city goes private, they really go private and allow competition, not just take a concession-fee cut off a privatized forced monopoly.

WHY 7 years, 4 months ago

If we learned anything from the Sopranos it was that private trash is a good business.

fiercesomeus 7 years, 4 months ago

Just what we need 2 time a week pickup when Lawrence is trying to go green. Recycle..Recycle..Recycle

conservative 7 years, 4 months ago

Yes if we give the contract to deffenbaugh city workers will lose jobs, however deffenbaugh would have to hire workers so most could probably get on there. As far as deffenbaugh cancelling pickups for a day is that really a big deal? They picked up the next day. And the city workers had to work in dangerous conditions and at such a slow pace they had to pay overtime.

daisyjay 7 years, 4 months ago

The city workers were not paid overtime for any of the snowy days we've had.

irvan moore 7 years, 4 months ago

we have (mostly) local folks on the trucks the city runs, why would we put productive local workers out of a job to hire out of town workers? this system is not broken, don't "fix" it.

sundowner 7 years, 4 months ago

They did not work overtime during the snow event

stevemarkcraig 7 years, 4 months ago


keepingfingerscrossed 7 years, 4 months ago

Well just as I have said before The guys now do one HELL of a job that no one else would do it. These guys do a great job and you want to put them out of work.

sallyone 7 years, 4 months ago

My service from the city trash collectors has been horrible, just look at my previous posts.

tomatogrower 7 years, 4 months ago

I'm not sure what part of town you live in, but our trash people are always great. They have helped elderly people with their trash, and will haul away many big items without having to call them ahead of time.

I do business with many people in the KC area who have to use Deffenbaugh. They hate Deffenbaugh.Their trash pickup is privatized, but there are no other companies competing. They raise their rates with little notice. If something falls out of the trash can, they don't bother picking it up. Many of the workers are not local, so they could care less about the community.

They change the schedule without notice. And they are owned by a foreign country, which means a lot of the money you pay to use their service goes to a foreign country, not the US. Of course, if you aren't very patriotic, I guess you don't care where your money goes, but please don't complain about the economy.

daisyjay 7 years, 4 months ago

Yes I think I remember you posting something about the trash cans winding up in your flowers. Right?

Why don't you call the Sanitation Supervisors and tell them what's going on with your trash service and let them fix the issue.

stevemarkcraig 7 years, 4 months ago

there is no smart supervisors call city hall and talk to chuck

ResQd 7 years, 4 months ago

I agree as well. Kudos to the team and workers of the Lawrence Sanitation department. I just don't understand why they want to bring in a private company when this works so well. This is one of the few city services that I can actually compliment!!!!!

fiercesomeus 7 years, 4 months ago

Conservative: you need to make sure of your facts before posting, there was no overtime paid out that day, customers were tended to and everyone was happy. Sallyone, show me a post that you wasnt complaining about something or being negative whatever the subject was, you have complained about so many different things on your posts how is anybody supposed to know if you are just complaining or it is true.

stevemarkcraig 7 years, 4 months ago


Crazy_Larry 7 years, 4 months ago

According to Forbes Magazine, "Refuse and Recycling Collector" is one of the top 10 most dangerous jobs in the United States...apparently, it's more dangerous than being in law enforcement. Respect to the trashmen! You are heroes too. Thank you for your service to the communtiy.

stevemarkcraig 7 years, 4 months ago


fiercesomeus 7 years, 4 months ago

You have the interest of everyone if you know so much let us all know but I do imagine there will be silence.

justtired 7 years, 4 months ago

Spell check would be awesome!! Please use it.

independent_rebel 7 years, 4 months ago

Please do so. You are always in the know, correct? You consistently post as if you have all the answers on who to fire up at KU, within City Hall, and within USD 497. Please start naming names. Maybe then some of us will listen to you.

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