Letters to the Editor

Trash fees

June 21, 2011


To the editor:

We always hear how the city needs to raise fees because they need more money to cover increasing expenses. Well I just paid my Deffenbaugh bill for recycling, $17.43 for three months, which includes weekly pickup and a free container.

If a Kansas City company can make money at this rate then we are being ripped off by the city, which charges $14.55 per month for weekly trash pickup and then $2 per month for one of their containers. We hear how the city’s tipping fees have increased, but if enough people in the city are indeed recycling to keep it out of the trash then the increase tipping fees could very well be a moot point. Is the city using this as another bogus excuse to get more revenue to support their wasteful spending?


Number_1_Grandma 6 years, 10 months ago

" Is the city using this as another bogus excuse to get more revenue to support their wasteful spending?"

Of course....

Jeez, you just now figuring this out?

Eileen Jones 6 years, 10 months ago

Deffenbaugh is collecting recyclables at a L.O.S.S. loss loss loss loss loss.

It's obvious they are trying to get a foot in the door and the city commission is letting them - because they want to take over our city trash service. The CC is going to shove this down our throats.

The author of this letter is clueless. Why don't they find out what Deffenbaugh charges in Kansas City, to collect actual household trash once a week for which they MUST make a profit?

I guarantee it's more than we're paying here in Lawrence.

Plus, Google them up. See the comments. They are universally hated for their terrible service.

I dread the city handing over our trash service, one of the few things that runs perfectly in this town, to Deffenbaugh, to enrich employees based in KC and a company based in Belgium.

pace 6 years, 10 months ago

I prefer the city to handle the service. I have long experiance the bargains that Deffenbaugh offers, too good to be true. They aren't. Shoddy service record, at first very responsive and cheap. later it is a horror story.

nativeson 6 years, 10 months ago

Landfill costs represent a small portion of the total cost of the solid waste department. The rolling stock and personnel are the largest portion of the total budget. The amount of waste on the curb has little to do with these costs.

The rates charged now are fairly comparable to surrounding communities. Deffenbaugh is using the curbside recycling service as an entry into the market. They have no intention in the long-term to provide this service exclusively. They want to be in position to take over both waste disposal and recycling for the community.

LadyJ 6 years, 10 months ago

There is a difference between trash and recyclable material. What Deffenbaugh picks up they make money on, trash is trash. They also don't clean up trash laying around, in fact I seen them create it. They will also clean up road kill around town, let's see Deffenbaugh do that. Not saying there is waste higher up, but the guys on the street do a great job. Watch on July 31st and you will see where the difference is. The city also does neighborhood cleanups which is great. Our sanitation department rocks. It might help if they would quit transferring unused funds to other departments and kept it in the sanitation dept funds. Read reviews of Deffenbaugh as a trash service and you would probably be the first to complain if you recieved such service.

pace 6 years, 10 months ago

Deffenbaugh does make money, but no, the collection fee and the material income does not cover their costs. It is a loss leader, used to develop market and drive out competition. The city's sanitation's competence and dedication to a variety of services is due to the infrastructure built up over decades, the men and women know the city and are part of the community. The tools are more than just trucks, there are a lot of things and equiptment that go into delivering good served, and they have done that. They do their hard job with pride. I appreciate them. This is a service that should not only be kept but protected.

tomatogrower 6 years, 10 months ago

Deffenbaugh is not making a profit from their recycle service here. They are just trying to get their foot in the door. Then see their prices go up and the service go down. And did you know that your $17.43 goes to a European country, and their workers aren't compensated very well? Their workers also do not care about Lawrence. Our sanitation workers have an interest in our community, because they are a part of it. Also the city does not have to make a profit. So when Deffenbaugh's share holders are complaining about not getting enough return on their investment, guess who wins? The customer or the share holder?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 10 months ago

"If a Kansas City company can make money at this rate"

If your argument is based on this assumption, then you likely don't have much of an argument.

alor 6 years, 10 months ago

I live just outside Lawrence and recently paid $75 for three months of weekly trash pick up by a Topeka company. Hope this is helping the local area economy.

alor 6 years, 10 months ago

I have no 'end of driveway' recycling option, so I take mine to Walmart, or other recycling containers around town. I probably pay more than $17 in gas over a three month period to drive it there. Don't ever let anyone tell you living in the country is cheap - quite the contrary!

olddesk 6 years, 10 months ago

I’m amazed at how sarcastic the responses become, from some people that are supposedly educated, when anything is said about how the city is spending our tax dollars. It appears that there are a lot of sheep out there.

Kendall Simmons 6 years, 10 months ago

I think sometimes it's hard to not be sarcastic when someone writes a letter to the editor complaining about something that they obviously don't fully understand.

Jerry Kemberling apparently can't tell the difference between a company that only picks up a few recyclables (and not his trash) and a city service that picks up everything.

The list that Deffenbaugh will not pick up (items, by the way, other local curbside recycling companies almost always take) is much larger than the list of what they'll take.

For example, no glass, no tin foil, no gift wrap, no paper towels, no pizza boxes, no shredded paper, no plastic cereal box liners...good grief!! That's why I use Jeff's Curbside Recycling. It's more expensive, but he takes everything but styrofoam...which no one takes.

Sorry, but too often when city services get privatized, residents soon watch their costs go skyrocketing. Or their services go down. (I believe it was Olathe where Deffenbach stopped accepting certain types of trash pickups a couple of years ago.) And, as someone already mentioned, read the reviews of Deffenbaugh. They're appalling! (As are the reports from two KC friends who are stuck with them.)

LadyJ 6 years, 10 months ago

After reading the contract they have with a city in Johnson County, since you cannot opt out of the yard waste, we would actually pay more. Plus, if the transportation costs are higher, since we don't know where the trash will be dumped, it could be even higher. Right now, if I read it right, their cost is $17 plus extra if you have more than the allotted container. Plus, they do not provide near the service our guys do. Leave well enough alone, it works.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 10 months ago

acornwebworks (Kendall Simmons) is on the money.

No matter what city hall cuts the cost of living continues to rise.

How can city hall afford to keep annexing? City hall keeps telling us in a matter of speaking that City Hall cannot afford what it is already responsible for.

What's up?

There is one consequence that usually goes unmentioned by the local media,city hall and elected officials - local profiteers are draining our pocketbooks and raising our taxes.

Terry Sexton 6 years, 10 months ago

Valid points, ironically, considering your username.

Matthew Herbert 6 years, 10 months ago

pay as you throw would be awesome. I'll just load up my trash in my truck and take it to the nearest dumpster. Then, I won't have to pay anything!

conservative 6 years, 10 months ago

I love all the people "in the know" telling us how evil deffenbaugh's 4.95 a month is. How it will go up as soon as they get the rest of the trash service. Yet i know several people who have been using their curbside service in kc for years and are paying this same rate. And these people live in areas where Deffenbaugh already has the trash contract. Bottom line is our city has done a horrible job of handling the costs of trash service. They either need to figure out how to be cost effective or privatize. And the city should definately stay out of recycling.

olddesk 6 years, 10 months ago

Thank you for stating some real facts.

pace 6 years, 10 months ago

I appreciate your love, I do know Deffenbaugh from a long and varied relationship. Look it up online, and call your friends, really compare services and costs. I am glad your friends have an opposite experience than I did , my experience was nightmarish and full of deception, expensive, time after time, first hand. Bottom line our City has not done a horrible job. I agree there was incompetent management for about a decade but he is gone now. It led to some poor handling of costs but even then the employees and city did a very good job.

LadyJ 6 years, 10 months ago

Conservative, it is not 4.95 a month, it is now 5.81 a month.

somedude20 6 years, 10 months ago

Looks like a lot of people sell their trash under the guise of a "yard sale" and even more extreme is that other people will buy said trash.

Keep on rocking in the free world!

jafs 6 years, 10 months ago

I also wonder whether anybody has checked to see whether Deffenbaugh actually recycles the items they pick up.

That would be a good thing to know.

beeshlii 6 years, 10 months ago

we should eat less, use less toilet tissue , less waste.

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