Letters to the Editor

Trash service

November 6, 2011


To the editor:

Last week a gentleman wrote to the newspaper that the city should just drop the task force on trash services and privatize because it would be cheaper. Be careful, you may get the cheap you want to pay for.

Let’s look at what you get. A basic trash service with a required poly cart. If you call in that you set it out late or it supposedly got missed, they will be glad to come back and get it for $25. The Monday yard waste would be dropped. If you have items like stoves, refrigerators, washers, dryers, etc., they would charge $35 for each except the refrigerator. It would be $50. Oh yeah, if you want to recycle, you still have to have a separate cart and pay $5 for that service.

Now let’s see how your services from the City of Lawrence are. Your basic service, you can use bag, can, cart, box, just about anything that will contain it and right now unlimited quantity. Now your white goods — you know, stoves, washer, dryer and refrigerator — NO CHARGE. Did you know you could put out five old tires to be picked up at NO CHARGE? I admit the brush policy is a pain, but you know what? If you package it right, you can cut down a whole tree and they will take it.

The one thing you can count on with the Solid Waste Division of the City of Lawrence, is customer service. These people are friendly, caring and concerned workers. This is their city too.


Joe Hyde 6 years, 6 months ago

Lawrence's present city trash pickup and disposal system is excellent. "Excellent" should not be replaced with a gamble that reaches for "probably better".

Peaty Romano 6 years, 6 months ago

I agree, every time I've called with a question or about an item to be picked up, they have been very helpful. When my mother passed away and we cleaned out her house, we had a huge amount of items that needed to be disposed of. I asked if I could rent or get a dumpster. They said no, just put everything by the curb on trash day and we'll get it. This was a huge amount of things. It took up about two parking spaces. They took everything no questions asked.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 6 months ago

I'm all for PAYT as you throw which will allow one large container that holds more than we can fill most always.

I'm also for allowing "locals" to run the recycling operations in the city BUT with a system that might be able to track their disposal method ..... like to a recycling facility.

But I also believe landlords should pay additional fees for setting an entire house out on the curb for pick up. This will be resisted greatly by most property owners who have friends in City Hall and/or are elected officials.

The sooner we fill up our landfills the sooner our trash service fee will increase beyond belief.

Yes Lawrence has excellent service and keeps locals employed. BTW Deffenbaugh is owned by investors located in Belgium. Our daughter who resides near Mission in JOCO would not blindly give Deffenbaugh a thumbs up for their trash service or recycling program.

I say keep all of our dollars Lawrence,Kansas and keep locals employed. Keeping locals on our tax dollar payrolls is QUITE friendly to local business and friendly to taxpayers. Keeping locals employed is necessary for the local economy to survive.

independent_rebel 6 years, 6 months ago

The Seattle Stomp. The practice of compacting or "stomping" on ones trash in pay-as-you-throw communities, to increase the volume of garbage in a single bag so as to decrease the number of bags one must pay for to dispose of. The Seattle Stomp was so-named because Seattle Washington was one of the nation's first communities to implement a pay-as-you-throw program and Seattle residents responded to an early unit-pricing program by compacting garbage into fewer bags. This happens in every community that implements PAYT without exception.

Illegal dumping. When Charlottesville, Virginia, began charging eighty cents per 32-gallon bag of residential garbage collected at the curb, it should come as no surprise that people responded to PAYT prices as they do all other prices: they do or consume less of it. (Fullerton and Kinnaman) A marked increase in trash burning and illegal dumping took place.

Disproportionality. Others argue that PAYT programs wrongly penalize large families, some elderly and families with infants. A large family with three or more children will have a significantly higher trash cost than other families in other communities. Families with newborn infants will often have a higher trash costs because of disposable diapers. Finally, PAYT programs often significantly affect the elderly on a fixed income where they must sometimes go without one essential item to have another.

Ancillary Costs. How much does it cost to send out a truck of municipal workers to various remote sites around a city, to pick up illegally dumped trash? How much does it cost a property owner to clean up his or her property when people illegally dump? How much time and energy will a property owner spend cleaning up after tenants who refuse to make PAYT a priority in the household expenses? How much cost will a business using dumpsters incur by increases caused by illegal use? Illegal Dumpster use is already a problem in many communities that do not have PAYT. Churches, grocery stores, restaurants, and hospitals are often targets of illegal dumpster use. What about Parks? Park maintenance will see a spike in costs as workers will be forced to empty trash receptacles used by those who seek to evade PAYT. PAYT don't include these costs in their promotion of PAYT programs.


parrothead8 6 years, 6 months ago

If someone has a greater impact on the environment, why shouldn't they pay more? A family of five creates more waste that uses up more space in the landfill than a family of two or three. Your argument about how it will affect the elderly on fixed incomes doesn't make sense, because every senior citizen on a fixed income I've known generates so little trash that a PAYT program would only save them money. Seriously, the old woman who lives next to us has the tiniest bag of trash every week "because I'm getting charged for it anyway, so I might as well," she told us. On a PAYT program, I'd probably be taking a full bag out for her once a month...maybe twice sometimes.

irvan moore 6 years, 6 months ago

i find the trash department and it's employees to be my favorite city service and i sure as heck get a lot better value from the guys on the truck than i do from the commissioners

kansasplains 6 years, 6 months ago

The Solid Waste Division of Lawrence is great! Why don't we have a community party for them during the summer months? (As well as a party for teachers and the many others who do their job so well.)

paavopetie 6 years, 6 months ago

Why don't we just have a town dump and require everyone to drive their trash there on their way out of town to their jobs in Johnson County or Topeka?

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