Archive for Wednesday, February 29, 2012

City takes steps to change trash system

February 29, 2012


Mandated city trash carts: Lawrence leaders are betting you’re going to like them better than you think.

Lawrence city commissioners at their Tuesday meeting took another step toward creating a trash system that will require residents to use special city trash carts instead of cans or bags, and they said they’re confident residents will grow to love the carts.

“This change will be difficult for some people, but we’ll work through it,” said City Commissioner Bob Schumm. “It will make us a greener and a better community, and you’re going to love yourself more as a result of it.”

Commissioners didn’t make any final decisions Tuesday, but they indicated a system requiring the use of city-issued trash carts is likely. Commissioners directed staff members to prepare a report on how the city could implement a cart system.

City officials pointed to a survey done by the city of Olathe that found residents there had many concerns alleviated about the plastic carts once they began using them. For example, before the carts were issued, 69 percent were concerned they wouldn’t have enough space to store the cart. After usage, that concern fell to 16 percent.

Commissioners also touted data indicating the carts dramatically will improve the safety of city sanitation workers. The new carts would allow all trash to be dumped with a hydraulic lift rather than lugged by workers. That’s significant, city officials said, because they estimate the average Lawrence trash worker lifts 7,500 pounds in a single day.

“I think we do need to think about the safety of the people who are providing a great service,” Mayor Aron Cromwell said.

City commissioners are expected to get a report back in several weeks, and any changes to the trash system likely would take several months to implement.

In other trash news:

• Commissioners made no decision on how large the trash carts may be, but they had on display 35 gallon, 65 gallon and 95 gallon carts.

• The idea of creating a curbside recycling service that would be added to everyone’s monthly bill also will get more study. Commissioners said they wanted to hear how a request for proposals could be put together for a private company to offer such a service citywide. They also told staff to prepare a report for how the city could provide the service itself. But commissioners stopped short of saying they planned to add the service. Several said they still had concerns about how much a curbside system may add to monthly bills.


sad_lawrencian 5 years, 11 months ago

Can we leave the trash alone? The current system seems to be working (I'm sure people will disagree with me).

parrothead8 5 years, 11 months ago

You're right, it is. However, we knew the City Commission had their minds made up on this one regardless of the concerns expressed here or in an other forum, so now we'll be stuck with the city carts. Best-case scenario now is that they offer all three sizes of carts, allow people to choose the size that best works for them, and charge accordingly.

irvan moore 5 years, 11 months ago

what's wrong with this picture? oew is right, worst city commission ever and that's saying something, take the best working department in the city and change it. hopefully the idiots at city hall will allow people with very little trash the 35 gallon containers an have a sliding scale for payment. did anybody look at the energy costs for operating the automated trucks? mayor says he is an enviromentalist and want to fill the city with big green plastic containers and the landfills with our old containers?

Mark Zwahl 5 years, 11 months ago

Hey be careful! Men have worked hard to be able to express their softer side w/o ridicule. This is a GOOD thing for our world. Ask some women...

Lawrenceks 5 years, 11 months ago

What happened to this being a free country?? You already took our rights away with mandating that we only have one trash service in this FINE City!!!!! So now you have a monopoly on the trash service you think you can rake us across the coals???? WE would still like a choice, one that lets us pick own trash service then if we want to have the company provide us with a trash can we'll decide that, NOT YOU!!!

I think it is time for a class action law suit!

skinny 5 years, 11 months ago

Dear City of Lawrence, I already have a trash can, I DO NOT need to rent one from you!! So please keep your trash can's!!

Chris Ogle 5 years, 11 months ago

4 pre-owned trash can, cheep. color silver

Richard Heckler 5 years, 11 months ago

First off do not lay off more city workers. Blue collar workers are good use of my tax dollars!

I believe the monthly rate is $2.00 for trash carts. Do not increase these rates.

There are plus sides to these carts:

  1. Dogs,skunks and raccoons cannot tip them easily

  2. The large one can hold a ton of compostable leaves/yard material

  3. They are easy to manipulate

  4. Will not blow everywhere during aggressive wind days

  5. Can hold a ton of trash === we seldom fill ours

  6. Can hold a ton of recyclables = Don't put the self employed out of business!

Bill the owners who wastefully throw away mountains of stuff at each move out for it is not the responsibility of all others in Lawrence. I do not want to support wasteful lifestyles on my nickle.

sassypants 5 years, 11 months ago

I pay $4.00 for a city owned trash cart now. I am wondering how much that will go up once everyone has to have them. I think if you already have a cart you should be grandfathered in on the old cost.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

According to what I've read so far, there will be no charge for the carts.

tomatogrower 5 years, 11 months ago

Exactly, pants. You're bill will actually be less.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

No it won't.

Instead of paying $4/month for the cart, she'll pay $5/month for recycling.

tomatogrower 5 years, 11 months ago

They haven't implemented the recycling yet. Read the report and the commission minutes.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

You think they'll implement the automatic truck system without the recycling, and her bill will go down?

There's a nice bridge in Brooklyn for sale...

deec 5 years, 11 months ago

They blow over quite easily in strong wind when not completely full, and the lids fly open easily as well.

Katara 5 years, 11 months ago

Today was an excellent example. I was seeing city trash carts & Deffenbaugh trash carts blown into & down the streets.

melott 5 years, 11 months ago

  1. Did anyone ask the city workers if they want more protection?
  2. Will the city help us recycle all the old garbage cans that will be thrown away?
  3. Have the costs of (2) been included in the accounting of this "deal"?
  4. It ain't broke, so fix it.

headdoctor 5 years, 11 months ago

We are so screwed. They used the term green. Translation means multiply the cost by 3 or 4 times and add 10% of the money that will be leaving our pockets to finance this poorly thought through mess. It will not cut down on bags. Most are not going to store raw trash in their house until it is moved to the carts. The City is sure being quiet about the cost of the robotic trucks or does this mean the only change they like is forcing people to use their carts. Replacing the truck fleet will be well into the millions.

Cherisa Jones 5 years, 11 months ago

The Sanitation Dept does an awesome job! As our great commissioner Amyx said: they work in the snow, rain, all kinds of weather. Did anyone listen to Cromwell last night? I'm glad he reminded me of his degree because the more he spoke the more I wondered if he had any education let alone common sense. All through this journey it seems Cromwell is against the workers and is more for his business opportunities. Cromwell- there is a saying that says if it ain't broke don't fix it. AND IT'S TRUE. But Cromwell said: something about "sometimes you just need to change" HUH?! (I wish could remember exactly how he said it - but it sounded just that crazy.) I loved it when he said staff could prepare the RFP's / reports but he's sure there would be mistakes in it. WHAT!!! Even our City Manager Corliss raised his eyebrows and his mouth dropped open. WHAT!! By then Engineer Cromwell realized what he'd said, (maybe) Corliss said, "I resemble that remark. brief chuckle." Corliss you were right to be bothered by that comment. However, it's just more proof the Mayor of this wonderful city of Lawrence, doesn't care for or respect the workers of the organization. Does he really care about the citizens of Lawrence? Or is he only out for himself ... his engineering degree and all!

Tonie Barnett Bruns 5 years, 11 months ago

A city-wide recycling program should the first think implemented. Why is that being put off? I think there are a lot of people for a city-wide recycling program, maybe we would be more on board with city-issued carts if it was for a better cause? Commissioners, give us a cause to care about and most will follow. Know your citizens.

hail2oldku 5 years, 11 months ago

I am already recycling more than I place into the landfill. Why should I be forced to pay for service that I am already accomplishing on my own? The toughest thing for me to recycle just got easier with the new glass recycling company coming into town. That isn't going to change with a forced curbside program because they won't pick up glass.

kuguardgrl13 5 years, 11 months ago

Who says they won't pick up glass? Until coming to Lawrence, I have only ever had curbside recycling. The problem was certain types of plastics and cardboard until a few years ago. Glass and aluminum cans were some of the easier things to recycle. It sounds like a city recycling system would actually be operated by a private company and billed through the city. If you're already going to pay for it, why not use it? I know I would recycle more if all I have to do is dump it in a cart or bin and put it out one a week or once every two weeks. What I want to know is if apartments will be able to get recycling dumpsters!

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

There are two options they're looking at - either a private company operating it or having the city do that.

The program was originally discussed only for single family homes, but I think they're considering expanding that to apartments as well.

kuguardgrl13 5 years, 11 months ago

If our bills are the same as single family homes, then we should get recycling too. I pay for water and sanitation just like everyone else.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

As far as I know, the charge would also only apply to single family homes if the recycling is limited to them.

They're not planning to charge you for it, and not provide it.

kuguardgrl13 5 years, 11 months ago

If the standard sanitation rate goes up, I will be paying for a service i'm not able to use. Somehow that doesn't seem right to me.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

Of course.

But, as far as I know, that's not what's going to happen.

Call somebody at City Hall and ask them.

David Reynolds 5 years, 11 months ago

It is amazing, the city commission is smarter than its citizens. They think they know what we will like & don't mind telling us.

We are visiting a community whose trash service uses the automated containers/trucks. The trucks are dangerous to be around with the flaying mechanical arms & the noise level is next to unbarable. You hear the ARM thrashing and truck noise continuously for blocks. It is a nightmare. This neighborhood use the automated system for both trash & recycling.

Possibly before the commission tells us what we like they should seek both input & experience.

mdlund0 5 years, 11 months ago

I lived in a city (Lexington, KY) that has used robotic systems for many years and never experienced problems like what you describe. The robotic arms are compact and safe... but who goes out and stands next to a garbage truck when their trash is being collected anyway? Furthermore, I don't recall ever having been particularly bothered by noise from automated trucks. If anything, they're quieter than manned trucks because they don't have people banging trash cans on the side of the truck... they just turn the can over and set them back down.

kuguardgrl13 5 years, 11 months ago

They're pretty loud when they're outside your bedroom window at 6 am.

tomatogrower 5 years, 11 months ago

How often to you attend city commission meetings and tell them? Or do you prefer whining online only?

saladshooter 5 years, 11 months ago

I moved from Lawrence to Oregon a few years ago. I was surprised at how efficient the trash service is here compared to Lawrence. We pay $20 per month and it includes rental of a garbage can, recycling can and a very large yard waste can. We have the option of adding another regular garbage can for a few extra dollars if we need it but we don't. We end up putting more in the recycling bin because it forces us to think twice before throwing anything away. The yard waste bins are so much better than dealing with all the trash bags full of leaves in the Fall and end up saving us money in the end. The city uses the leaves and sticks to make compost which is so much better than seeing all that good stuff go into the land fill. It's time to evolve, Lawrence.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

Well, there may be a few advantages to that system, but Lawrence isn't that terrible.

We pay about $15/month for trash, and that includes yard waste pickup as well.

This proposal would increase the costs to about the same as yours, from what I've read so far, and be comparable.

kuguardgrl13 5 years, 11 months ago

What's wrong with paying an extra $5/month for recycling? Landfills will be less full of things that should be recycled!

gatekeeper 5 years, 11 months ago

Because I can do it for free right now!!! Makin me pay for something I already do and am not charged for.

kuguardgrl13 5 years, 11 months ago

But if it is added to the bills, you can't just opt not to pay it because you don't use it. Not to mention the free recycling might just go away if we have a city system.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

That's why people don't like the idea.

And, if it did put Wal-Mart's collection out of business, that would mean a loss of jobs for the DD folks that work there, which would be a shame.

It would probably also put the private companies that offer recycling services now out of business.

kuguardgrl13 5 years, 11 months ago

I'm sure the services like Deffenbaugh and Walmart will still be around, it would just seem silly to use them if you're going to be paying for recycling on your bills anyway.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

Why would they still be around, if people don't use them anymore?

That's not usually how our private economy operates.

kuguardgrl13 5 years, 11 months ago

so gatekeeper shouldn't complain if the city starts doing curbside and has a monopoly over recycling. isn't that how a free market economy works?

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

Of course not.

A mandatory city program isn't a "free market" program.

The free market works by choice - if you want a certain service, you pay for it, and if not, you don't.

This program mandates that people pay for city recycling, whether they want it or not.

That's rather the opposite of the free market.

tomatogrower 5 years, 11 months ago

Yet not that many other people do it for free, and by the way you pay for the gas to get there, unless you walk. Those who are not recycling are raising our costs, because the landfill will be filling up faster and they'll have to make a new one, and charge more. Requiring it or making it easier for those who are too lazy would decrease our costs in the future.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

Yes, that's why we try to combine recycling trips with other things in that part of town.

I was just pointing out to kugirl that her claims about "free market" operations were incorrect.

And, a bunch of people use the existing private services - we used to as well.

I have no problem with curbside, as you say, it would make it easier, and we already recycle a lot.

Although I hope they take a lot of stuff - it's been said they won't take glass, and many companies don't take all of the recyclable plastics.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

I never said I had a problem with it - I'd be glad to have curbside recycling.

Adrienne Sanders 5 years, 11 months ago

I have a feeling that those of us who live in apartments are going to end up paying even more for a service we don't use.

kuguardgrl13 5 years, 11 months ago

So why can't our complexes convert one or two of the 4-6 dumpsters they have for recycling? I know I would recycle if it didn't mean loading up my car. Used to do it when I lived in the dorms, and it was just a trip down the hall.

Adrienne Sanders 5 years, 11 months ago

It's up to your complex to rent a recycling "dumpster" (from Deffenbaugh) in addition to trash dumpsters. They do where I live. Talk to your management company.

The sad truth is, I see tons of recyclable stuff in the dumpster, b/c people are too lazy to sort it and walk halfway across the parking lot to get to the recycling bin.

Also, this doesn't address the issue of how people who live in apartments are charged for trash.

kuguardgrl13 5 years, 11 months ago

In my complex we get a monthly bill from the city just like people in single family homes do. Not sure where out dumpsters come from, but I'm pretty sure they're all for trash. I won't bother talking to management since I'm not renewing and they haven't been very good to me.

pizzapete 5 years, 11 months ago

“It will make us a greener and a better community, and you’re going to love yourself more as a result of it.”

Lawrence is becoming a dumb place to live and a nice place to visit. If I could sell my house I would be so out of here.

saladshooter 5 years, 11 months ago

It is dumb to not choose to be more efficient. Diverting less waste to the landfill makes sense financially, and God forbid, environmentally. It's great that people choose for themselves to recycle, but if everyone in the city had curbside Think of the impact.

Laura Wilson 5 years, 11 months ago

Before the city owned trash cans there were mini-dumpsters. I have one of those, have had one for ten years. I like it. It's large enough to hold a couple weeks worth of trash so if I miss trash day (which I often do as they come around 8:00 and I hate the mornings) it's fine. I've seen no mention of these being continued in use. I don't want to go to a smaller can.

That said, I'm against this whole thing anyway. For one thing, sometimes if I just have one bag, I take it to the curb and bypass the dumpster all together. And another, I don't like the loss of jobs (our trashmen are some of the best guys/gals around) and having one more thing mandated upon us.

tomatogrower 5 years, 11 months ago

They aren't going to lay off workers. Read the report.

Getaroom 5 years, 11 months ago

All you trash change grumps can still hug your precious and adored bent up retro galvanized trash containers all you like, plastic ones too with broken handles and lids flying off in the wind. No one is saying you can't hang on to them and do and store stinky trash in them too, just like you do now. You may even put them out at the curb. Just know that city workers will no longer be required, without freedom of choice, to lug your awkward to handle, stinking, bent up heavy cans over to the truck and hoist them up with their arms, legs and backs anymore. Feeling the love of your coveted(free?) trash can ownership? Admit it now, most of you use those cans way beyond their natural life because you are to cheap to get one that is actually decent and where is the respect for the workers in that, did you ever ask one of the workers if they love your piece of junk can, as much as you do?
How about taking ownership and responsibility for being a citizen of a community that provides services for a reasonable fee, not a profit and for all of us. "Green" does not stand for 'enemy combatant' or terrorist. Green is a term that stands for something important for all us. Being "green" and participating in it, means taking conscious action to use everything to it's fullest and being conservative of our combined resources. This is also exercising freedom of choice before it is no longer a choice and we have over filled our landfills, or run out of space. If you think being "conservative" is important, then it is vital for all of us to take responsibility for how we use resources and then what we do with them once they no longer serve their original and intended purpose. If you love your freedom of choice so much, act like it and stop being such a group of naysayers, who seem always to need a leader to whip at the post. If a poll were taken, city wide, I am betting the majority would be in favor of these proposed upgrades to our waste system. This blog is for certain not a majority representation. It is high time recycling and more efficient pick up begin to be initiated. And by the way, the trucks will need to be replaced anyway as they come to the end of their useable lives and replacing them with proper hydraulics for lifting is perfect. They are not planning to just get rid of all current trucks in service pronto and LJW readers would know that if they bothered to keep informed. Obviously most do not, they just have knee jerk responses instead.

any 5 years, 11 months ago

I'm confused, you want to blame people for using their can as long as possible but then go on to say that being green "means taking conscious action to use everything to it's fullest and being conservative of our combined resources." Sometimes something being used to the fullest may not be the prettiest thing, but still functional. So which is it? Should someone have a "descent" can or should someone be green? You're arguing for both but your arguments seem to contradict.

For those that have purchased their cans, I imagine the problem isn't the fact that they have to change cans because you're right, eventually they do wear out. The problem is having to rent and pay for them over and over again when it would be cheaper to purchase. If the city gives an option to purchase the trashcans at a reasonable price, I'm sure many current can owners would do that and be okay with it.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

From what I've read, there would be no charges for the new carts.

JackMcKee 5 years, 11 months ago

The city is just going to magically make 20,000 trash carts appear out of thin air? Not likely.

Bob Forer 5 years, 11 months ago

If you believe that, then you believe that free shipping offered on some ebays items is actually free. There is no such thing as a free lunch. The costs of the new carts will be included in the monthly trash charge. And since it will be a hidden, non-specified cost, none of us will have any idea how much we are paying for the use of the cart.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

I think that's unlikely.

We currently have the trash section of the monthly bill clearly set out in the bill - when they add recycling, the costs will increase there.

See below - I seriously doubt that the city could take money from the minimal $5/month charge for recycling services to pay for trash carts as well.

That would mean they can provide curbside recycling for less than $5/month - sounds pretty impossible to me.

It's much more likely that they'd use some other revenue to pay for the carts, or that they'd use savings from the automated system, if there are enough of those.

Getaroom 5 years, 11 months ago

And you will remain confused obviously. Glad you are not on my project list of to-do's.

John Hamm 5 years, 11 months ago

Brahahahahahahahahaha. Thanks! I really needed a good laugh today.

tomatogrower 5 years, 11 months ago

Getaroom, +1000 They need to read the report. It's not that long.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 11 months ago

The monthly rate is $2.00 for trash carts according to city hall a few seconds ago. That's what we have been going on two years.

The plan as it stands would look like this: There will be no monthly charge for the carts. The city believes there will enough cost savings incurred that the cost of carts can be absorbed.

End of conversation.

JackMcKee 5 years, 11 months ago

sorry, it's not the end of the inversation, Merrill. I don't trust these commissioners. These are the same people behind the library parking garage. It truly is the worst city commission ever.

JackMcKee 5 years, 11 months ago

Why can't I purchase my own cart? Why is renting a requirement?

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

There is no rental involved.

And, I imagine the reason that the city wants to provide them is so that they're the correct size and design for the automated trucks.

JackMcKee 5 years, 11 months ago

when they say "city provided carts" I take that to mean rentals. They didn't say "city mandated carts" they said "city provided".

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

You can "take it to mean" anything you like - that's your prerogative.

But, they're not going to be charging a "rental fee" for the carts, they're going to be charging about $5/month for recycling services, from all I've read so far.

If you wanted to buy your own cart, as long as it was the correct size and design, and continue paying the $5/month for recycling, I suppose you could do that, if you could get the city to agree, but I'm not sure why you'd want to.

it seems unlikely to me that the $5 charge could include both the costs of "renting" the carts, and providing recycling services - it's just not enough money.

JackMcKee 5 years, 11 months ago

like I said before, 20-30,000 trash carts are not going to magically appear. We'll be paying for them one way or another.

Bob Forer 5 years, 11 months ago

Absolutely, Jack. As the saying goes, there is no such thing as a free lunch.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

"one way or another" is hardly the same thing as "renting" them each month.

I suspect that other revenue would be used for the purchase and/or that any savings from the automation will go towards them.

JackMcKee 5 years, 11 months ago

try to keep up Jafs. It is the same. It's just less transparant.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

"Why is renting a requirement?"

It's not, and the fact that the carts will have to be paid for somehow is a different issue.

According to some information, the city thinks they'll save enough with improved efficiency of the new system to pay for the carts.

tomatogrower 5 years, 11 months ago

improved efficiency and fewer workman comp claims. Every city who has gone to this system sees their workman comp claims drop drastically. Read the report.

tomatogrower 5 years, 11 months ago

McKee, they are going to be replaced as the old trucks need to be replaced. Read the report. It's not that difficult of a read. Try informing yourself, so you won't sound so ignorant.

somedude20 5 years, 11 months ago

I guess "Men at Work" (the movie) is like a bible to these tricksters!
"Aww, lookie here. Looks like somebody threw away a perfectly good white boy!"

Richard Heckler 5 years, 11 months ago

The plan that is being discussed would look like this:

There will be NO MONTHLY CHARGE for the carts. The city believes there will be enough cost savings incurred that the cost of carts can be absorbed. This concept has not been approved as yet.

The current monthly rate is $2.00 for trash carts according to city hall this morning. That's what we have been paying going on two years.

Getaroom makes a strong argument regarding the physical impact on staff that pick up this wide variety of trash receptacles.

Most all of us have witnessed over loaded trash cans that dogs and wild animals just love to interact with... thus leaving waste products strung about. Do we expect the trash people to pick us this litter?

Going to carts should prove to be a cleaner operation by keeping litter more contained.

gatekeeper 5 years, 11 months ago

So, those of us that don't have trash strewn everywhere, have nice trash bins we've paid for and recycle on our own get screwed? How about we have the city get out of the trash and recycling business? And if people have trash all over because the overload their carts, enforce current city code and fine them. But no, the simple thing is to make the rest of us conform to what you want.

I've never commented badly about you, but it's finally time. You get on your high horse, cut and paste any and everything you can find that you like and shove it down everyone throats on here. The world doesn't revolve around you and doesn't have to conform to what you want. You need to learn how to work with others, compromise and sometimes stop the cut and paste and realize that it's not your way or the highway and that people can have different opinions than you have.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

I also have nice trash bins, recycle on my own, etc.

This proposal doesn't "screw" me in any way - it's a very minimal upcharge of about $5/month (from what I've read), and it would make recycling much easier for us.

You'd rather pay more taxes so that the city can enforce the trash codes more thoroughly than pay for curbside recycling?

gatekeeper 5 years, 11 months ago

Why should I have to pay $60 more per year for a service I don't need because I can already do it for free?

So in your little world, having the city enforce current code is a bad thing? Your taxes aren't going to go up for that. You want to see your taxes go up, then keep letting these council members keep making policy that will line their pocket books. They aren't doing this for the safety of the workers. Nothing is done by this council unless it's benefiting them.

And, you'll still have trash strewn around because these carts aren't that great. The other day at my mothers in KC, the wind was picking up the lids, flinging them back and everyone's trash was flying around the neighborhood. My trash can has a nice locking lid and no trash gets blown around.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

If you want the city to enforce codes more aggressively, then I guarantee you that we'll have to pay more in taxes to accomplish that.

There's no free lunch.

I assume you mean "city commission" members - I'm not aware of any "council".

All I said was that this doesn't "screw" anybody - it's a minimal charge, and it makes recycling easier.

You may prefer to do it on your own for free - I understand that. But let's save rhetoric like being "screwed" by the city commission for more appropriate examples.

tomatogrower 5 years, 11 months ago

Can your cans be lifted by a mechanical arm. Are you willing to continue to pay for people who damage their backs to pick up your beloved can? If the city would let free enterprise work here, you would still have to use these carts you hate so much,because these companies know they work well.
And you would have to be sure to pay enough that the company would make enough money to stay in business and make a profit for it's investors. If not, you would have to constantly shop around and you would have to pay this place and that place. And guess what? Deffenbaugh doesn't pick up your trash if a dog has ripped through your flimsy bag. The city guys do, because they are part of our community and care.

kuguardgrl13 5 years, 11 months ago

Well said, merrill. The carts are often larger than what you can buy in a store and are more heavy duty. In my experience, we still used bags for trash (easy collection around the house), but recyclables were just tossed in with no bags. Yes, trucks with arms are more noisy, but trash collection in general is a noisy business. And if the city implements recycling, I don't see a need for them to layoff city trash workers. They could go to two-person crews but will have separate crews for trash and recycling. If they decide to buy all new trucks, it's likely they will be more fuel efficient.

Getaroom 5 years, 11 months ago

Oneeye_ Wilbur: slip back into the past then since that is where you want to be. Those were some great folks you speak of for sure, but we are here now. Times are changing, your holding on to the past does not attend to future needs or even those of the here and now. I have no idea if Cromwell's desire is to be remembered for anything, but I do understand that costs go up every year and not down. Landfill costs are going up and real conservative thinkers understand that and also how to make what we have work to our best advantage. Your liking, or disliking of commissioners does not change the need for revision of how things are done at a city wide level. For all of the complaining that is done on this post, I would like to see any one of you step into the shoes of the ones who were willing to take this job on. I doubt that few citizens in the community have all the necessary and specific information to know if the system is broken or not. But what I do know is that if you do not put in place now what is or will soon needed is a mistake. So do you want something that is "just" working, or do you want what will be able to better serve the needs of the community on into the near and more distant future? Staying the same is not an option. We are behind the times in fact and this needs to move forward. Like it or not. Maybe what you think is common sense is really not all that useful. "If it aint' broken don't fix it" is simply a saying, not a rule to be absolutely followed. What does not make sense, is remaining stubborn just because you can. Dented 'cans' or not!

Richard Heckler 5 years, 11 months ago

"The monthly rate is $2.00 for trash carts according to city hall a few seconds ago. That's what we have been going on two years. The plan as it stands would look like this: There will be no monthly charge for the carts. The city believes there will enough cost savings incurred that the cost of carts can be absorbed. End of conversation."

Meaning that was the end of my conversation with city hall this am = nothing more was said. Then again if city hall is going to mandate specific trash carts I feel they should provide the trash carts.

When I priced out trash carts there was a not a huge savings. It wouid require 4 years to get my money back based on $2 a month rental fee. If for some reason the cart broke and would not function any longer on any trash service vehicle I would then be renting or buying another.

muddfoot55 5 years, 11 months ago

Seems as the trash guys have already started their choice....the trash in my traditional trash can was not picked up but the rest of my street was. And yes, it was out EARLY!
And the mobile home community I live in charges 6$ rental on city can that be? Something stinks and it ain't garbage.

tomatogrower 5 years, 11 months ago

Sounds to me like your mobile home community is ripping you off, not the city.

kuguardgrl13 5 years, 11 months ago

Sure, you can choose to ignore a new system if it's put in place, but you'll be hauling your own trash to the landfill. How about it goes up for referendum in November like the new library? Lots of people were against the new library, but enough wanted it that it got through. Lots of you claim that the current trash system is just fine, but I'd like to see it go up for a vote.

lunacydetector 5 years, 11 months ago

that's because the fix was other words, your vote doesn't count in lawrence, ks. league of women voters checking your name off before you voted one year....that's how i know.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago


Turnouts are absurdly low in Lawrence, especially in local issues like the library.

That's undoubtedly more of a reason that the library expansion was approved than anything else.

If you have specific provable information about voting irregularities then you should report them to the appropriate place.

JackMcKee 5 years, 11 months ago

You can't deny that there were some questionable practices going on around the library vote. For example, city officials telling lies about accreditation levels ,the utility bill mailer and the confusion wording on the ballot.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

Anybody who was interested could find correct information pretty easily - I did and voted against the proposal.

They didn't actually lie, they just gave limited information that we would "lose" our accreditation if we didn't expand the computer section, and failed to mention that there were differing levels of accreditation.

It's a bit slimy, for sure, though.

I don't know what you mean about the "confusion wording" on the ballot - it seemed pretty clear to me.

Turnouts are the real problem in Lawrence, in my view. They're much too low to actually represent anything like the "will of the voters" or even the "will of the majority".

lunacydetector 5 years, 11 months ago

the city sure has been scrambling to screw the citizenry after they got caught with their pants down screwing everyone on their water bill.

what do i do with my $65 hydraulic lift capable trash can???? i know because i watch the trash guys use the hydraulic lift to dump it. answer me that one city commissioners.

webmocker 5 years, 11 months ago

“It will make us a greener and a better community, and you’re going to love yourself more as a result of it.” --Bob Schumm

I'm generally pro-recycling, pro-environment, and a fan of making externalities cost people directly, but this quote is really annoying.

irvan moore 5 years, 11 months ago

i was wondering if the diffenbach recycle carts i see all over are 35 gallon size?

LadyJ 5 years, 11 months ago

All this "getting with the times" and we still can't pay our water bill online without paying a fee higher than the cart rental. Go figure.

irvan moore 5 years, 11 months ago

sometimes with leaves in the fall we have 50 bags at a time, how will we deal with that?

Alceste 5 years, 11 months ago

Alceste shall be displaying our wonderful new cart(s) smack dab in the middle of the front yard as tribute to the modernistic thinking.

Patricia Davis 5 years, 11 months ago

We have used a city cart for years and I agree they are heavy duty, easy to roll. I store mine in the garage (wish my neighbors did!). I have been pleased with Deffenbaugh but if the city charges me for recycling, I'll go with the city. My biggest concern is the yard waste component. Over the last 20 year we have removed all of our grass and built retaining walls and planted trees and shrubs. They make oxygen AND lots of leaves. I'm in my 60s and find the paper bags hard to deal with (I have my own rolling carts for leaves). I'm hoping some entrepreneur will seize the opportunity to contract to pick up yard waste and compost it.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

I'm not aware of any plans for the city to stop picking up yard waste.

Kat Christian 5 years, 11 months ago

Are renters required to BUY their container or the Landlord? I do not plan to buy a special can for my trash...already have two nice round cans. And how can the Trash Dept be so concerned about their workers hurting themselves by lifting cans when they plan to layoff a bunch of them just to use this new system? What a crock of crap. I hate it when organizations color-coat their language to cover up their devious intentions.

daisyjay 5 years, 11 months ago

Where did it say the city plans to lay off a bunch of their workers to use this new system?

gatekeeper 5 years, 11 months ago

In past articles, it has been stated. They only need one person per truck (they claim) with the new carts. People will be laid off.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

According to my reading, they've said that the workforce will be reduced by "attrition", meaning that when somebody retires or quits, they won't be replaced.

Not quite the same thing as laying people off.

irvan moore 5 years, 11 months ago

i think it would be reasonable to assume if the utilitys are in the renters name (most single family dwellings) the renter would pay for it.

kuguardgrl13 5 years, 11 months ago

Unless it's an apartment in which case the dumpsters are (I believe) owned or rented by your complex. Wonder if they will have recycling dumpsters too. I'd like that!

friendlyjhawk 5 years, 11 months ago

OMG, that pictures looks like the zombies are strolling that neighborhood!

Piggles 5 years, 11 months ago

You really got to be kidding me. There is just me and I have ONE bag of trash. Rarely I might have two bags (maybe like once or twice a year). I already have 2 trash cans that are stored on my patio - if I get one from the city that will be 3 trashcans/carts that will be stored on my patio. I don't need a cart. I already have two trash cans. The reason I don't use a can is because I only have one bag of trash. also I don't use a cart/can because the trash workers just throw it on the ground or in the street. I am not putting a cart/can at the street for one lonely bag of trash. City can find better ways for use of their money like fix /pave streets that need it.

tomatogrower 5 years, 11 months ago

Do your trash cans need to be lifted to be thrown into the truck? Do you really not mind people having to pick them up and throw them into a large truck which is dangerous to their back? Would you be willing to walk out and dump it in the truck yourself, requiring you to be at home at a certain time and requiring you to pay for your own back problems? Lowering the costs of the workman's comp will pay for the carts and show the workers that we care about their health. Your one lonely bag of trash is probably heavier than you think. Especially if you have to lift it up to the truck, instead of just drag it out to the street. And you aren't going to pay more. Read the report!!!!

patkindle 5 years, 11 months ago

aaron cromwell, knows more of what we need than we do we are not smart enough to handle our own lives even our daily trash lets just bow to him like we do obama put some folk out of work and give it all to diffleball, pretty simple we can make it up with the homeless shelter

headdoctor 5 years, 11 months ago

The more I look at this it sure seems to be a setup. They wait until they only have two working large trash trucks and two that can be refurbished and the rest are beyond repair. So now they decide this is an ideal time for change. Maybe so but at what cost. I couldn't find a price on their new trash cans but in 2009 the robotic trucks were around $250,000.00 each and the hybrids were around $500,000.00 although some cities brought the price back down with stimulus to the quarter of a million price tag. One really has to wonder who is getting their palms greased on this purchase that will no doubt result in at least a couple of million dollar deal.

tomatogrower 5 years, 11 months ago

Are you a doctor who provides treatment for all the workman comp claims? Are you worried that your profits from the city will drop drastically? So a purchase every few years of a half a million, or about the same cost every year for workman's comp claims. Hmmm, choices, choices. Make a doctor rich, or make a truck manufacturing company rich? Well, the truck company employs more workers, so I'll go with them. And the city trash crews will have less physical pain. And fewer of my taxes will go towards making oil companies richer. And the landfill costs will go down. I"m sorry, whining about having to part with beloved cans and trash bags just doesn't quite outweigh the benefits of this plan.

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