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Archive for Friday, January 20, 2012

Opponents ask city to dump, alter trash plan

Lawrence man Ted Boyle addresses the city's Solid Waste Task Force Thursday at a two-hour public comment session at City Hall. Boyle, like many of the two dozen who commented Thursday, said he would like residents to be able to choose whether they want to pay extra for recycle. Under the draft proposal, all residents would be charge a recycling fee even if they don't use the service.

Lawrence man Ted Boyle addresses the city's Solid Waste Task Force Thursday at a two-hour public comment session at City Hall. Boyle, like many of the two dozen who commented Thursday, said he would like residents to be able to choose whether they want to pay extra for recycle. Under the draft proposal, all residents would be charge a recycling fee even if they don't use the service.

January 20, 2012

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The size, shape, scope, cost and even the ethics of a draft report on recommendations for changes to the city’s trash and recycling system were called into question by Lawrence residents Thursday evening at City Hall.

Possible sizes of carts on display at City Hall Thursday as part of a public comment session about a draft to overhaul the city's trash and recycling services. Two dozen Lawrence residents addressed the city's Solid Waste Task Force Thursday. Another meeting is set for 6 p.m., Jan. 26, location to be announced.

Possible sizes of carts on display at City Hall Thursday as part of a public comment session about a draft to overhaul the city's trash and recycling services. Two dozen Lawrence residents addressed the city's Solid Waste Task Force Thursday. Another meeting is set for 6 p.m., Jan. 26, location to be announced.

Some even got choked up about the topic.

“There are few things that are as personal as trash,” said Mayor Aron Cromwell, who chairs the city’s Solid Waste Task Force that formed in April.

Despite passionate pleas to modify — or even scrap — the task force’s draft, Cromwell said he doesn’t expect huge changes before a proposal is voted on by the task force.

A key goal set forth by the task force is to increase automation for residential trash collection by providing roll-out trash carts for residential services and increasing automation of trucks as current fleet units are replaced. The task force also is looking at mandatory recycling collections.

Services such as yard-waste pickup and large-item collection would continue.

Another meeting — the 19th in total for the task force — is set for 6 p.m. Jan 26. City officials said the location would be announced today.

“We’ll wrap it up next week,” Cromwell said. If the task force votes in favor of a proposal, it will be passed along to the City Commission as a recommendation.

Among the provisions decried by some of the two dozen people who addressed the task force Thursday was mandatory usage of standardized carts for both trash and recycling for single-family homes, with no opt-out clause. The additional cost for the mandatory recycling service isn’t yet clear, but Cromwell has previously said the total cost should be around $19 a month, up about $4 from the current city rate that now just includes trash pickup.

Numerous residents questioned a one-size-fits-all policy that doesn’t account for residents currently satisfied with other recycling options in the city, such as private pickup and drop-off locations.

The trash carts, which could possibly reduce injuries and staffing needs through the use of a hydraulic lift, were on display in 45-, 65-, and 90-gallon sizes at City Hall.

“Huge, huger and humongous,” said Lawrence resident Bill Mitchell in his comments to the task force. Mitchell, and several others commenting Thursday, called for smaller carts, and potentially lower rates, for those who create less trash.

Cromwell said it’s been a challenge balancing the variety of needs expressed by the community, but the “goal is to create a system that works for Lawrence.”

Among the other recommendations in the report:

• The possibility that the city could switch to fully-automated trucks, which would reduce the number of crew members needed on a trash truck.

• The city solicited proposals from private companies to run a new citywide curbside recycling program. The report recommends that a new curbside recycling program be created but recognizes it must be fiscally feasible. The report recommends any curbside service be offered on a weekly basis.

• Sets a goal of a 50 percent recycling rate for the community by 2020. The city’s current recycling rate isn’t known. The last rate compiled by the city showed it was 34 percent, although that calculation is several years old and the city auditor has questioned the method used for figuring recycling totals.

Residents of apartment complexes largely will have to wait to see what changes may be in store for their trash service. The report does not provide many recommendations for multifamily or commercial trash service, but said changes to the system are possible in the future.

The full draft report can be viewed on the city’s website.

Comments

cheeseburger 2 years, 11 months ago

The public comment session was a waste of time, as Mayor Cramwell already knows what he wants to jam down our throats.

I'm still curious how Mayor Cramwell touts this as a money-saver, then immediately indicates that rates are going to go up. If his grandiose plan isn't going to save money, then simply leave things as they are.

Kim Murphree 2 years, 11 months ago

Oh it will save $$$ because it will cost people their jobs...fewer human trash collectors in favor of taxpayers paying fees for automation that reduces the number of the crew members needed daily. Not a great thing for citizens struggling in the economy...more fees, less jobs.

Eileen Jones 2 years, 11 months ago

This won't save any money. Saving money is only an excuse they are using to shove this down our throats.

headdoctor 2 years, 11 months ago

They are bound and determined to fix something that isn't broke. I haven't heard much discussion on the cost of these new robotic trucks. I also have to wonder as varied as the pick up locations are in town how these trucks will be able to reach all the bins with just a driver.

So far this just looks like a scam to clean up garbage can areas and charge more for the service. I wouldn't be surprised if they start this then whine that they don't have the money to buy new trucks and if they do buy them have to still pay some crew wages and maybe over time because the new trucks will be slower on the route.

Eileen Jones 2 years, 11 months ago

Saving money is the new excuse for politicians who want to ram something down our throats. Then when you look closer, and consider the ramifications, it doesn't save money at all in the end.

irvan moore 2 years, 11 months ago

cromwell doesn't expect changes despite what the public might want, the task force had a goal to automate the trash service, the city commission will vote on the proposal. good freaking grief, cromwell was in charge of the task force, he had a preconceived idea of what he wanted, and now he will vote on it? figure it out folks, how unethical can it get? what's the hurry, no plan for apartments and commercial but gotta get done while cromwells mayor, something stinks and it ain't the trash.

Randall Barnes 2 years, 11 months ago

mayor cromwell says. (lawrence needs more jobs) but he has a plan to cut jobs in lawrence.if there is even one penny in the reserve fund then you need to leave the jobs of the hard working city employees alone.

Eileen Jones 2 years, 11 months ago

The more single-stream collection bins are the answer. Why didn't the task force think of that?

Eileen Jones 2 years, 11 months ago

The more single-stream collection bins are the answer. Why didn't the task force think of that?

skinny 2 years, 11 months ago

Why have the meeting then if they weren't going to consider the public's opinion??? I see a class action lawsuit coming!!

poolside 2 years, 11 months ago

Charging every resident $4 more when so many live in multi family housing and won't get services....way to gouge!

JackMcKee 2 years, 11 months ago

Cromwell is every bit as bad as Brownback. Recall.

TheBigW 2 years, 11 months ago

What about the all the senior citizens, like my 89 yr old grandmother, still lives in her house and refuses to live else where, who is on a fixed income and already is having a hard time making ends meet, everything is going up, property tax, food cost, and now more for her trash service. Then the fact that she can't move the carts, hell she can hardly walk as it is, let alone move the carts around, filled or empty. Me or another family member picks up her recycled stuff and takes to the wal-mart bins for her, for free. We also have to take out her trash to the alley each week, she can't do it anymore.

Nice of you to stick it to the citizens like her, cramwell.

patkindle 2 years, 11 months ago

It amuses me the bleeding hearts can show up in mass At the city council meetings to whine and cry to get whatever Freebie they want But when some legitimate taxpayers show up, mayor Cromwell Turns a deaf ear? He has his mind made up and No one is going to change the course of the trash system It will all be privatized and turned over to Deffenbaugh As soon as he can get er done

Eileen Jones 2 years, 11 months ago

I think turning over the whole city trash service to Deffenbaugh has been the whole agenda, all along.

Enlightenment 2 years, 11 months ago

I'm not crazy about the added cost, but willing to pay it in order to get all residents recycling.

Eileen Jones 2 years, 11 months ago

There are many ways to encourage recycling. This is not it. Just because you force residents to have two trash bins doesn't mean they're going to separate their trash.

How about putting a single-stream recycling bin in every grocery store parking lot?

Gedanken 2 years, 11 months ago

Classic Lawrence - We want a 50% recycling rate by 2020. Okay, what is the rate now? We don't really know. We last estimated it at 34%, but we that number is probably not accurate.

If you don't know where you are beginning, then it is hard to figure out where to end. If you don't know how to measure something, then it is hard to know where you are. If the current rate is at 40% and 2020 is 8 years away then is it really a worthy goal to try an achieve? Maybe the goal should be higher?!

People in this town just amaze me.

Melinda Black 2 years, 11 months ago

I'm all for recycling. However, this is not the right approach. I have been supporting a small, local business for collecting my recycling for years now. I'm pretty miffed that I'd be forced to use Deffenbaugh for this service.

Let's not kill jobs folks.

Eileen Jones 2 years, 11 months ago

I think turning over the whole city trash service to Deffenbaugh has been the whole agenda, all along.

Deffenbaugh has a terrible reputation in the KC area. We'll get terrible service, be forced to pay higher fees, Lawrence will lose jobs, and the revenues will to the company parent in Belgium.

This thing stinks all over.

Jana Rea 2 years, 11 months ago

A one-size fits-all mandate in trash service is the same song as Standard Based Testing, Health care mandates and every other way this government--local, state, nationally-- schemes to simplify the system by eliminating individual distinction and liberty of choice. Wrong directionally, wrong conceptually, wrong Constitutionally! But we have our Voices and we have our Votes.

1029 2 years, 11 months ago

My old man used to say rivers were God's trash chute into the ocean. And here we are right next to a river that hardly no one uses no more, so maybe it's time to use some good old American common sense to solve this problem.

Richard Heckler 2 years, 11 months ago

" I'm all for recycling. However, this is not the right approach. I have been supporting a small, local business for collecting my recycling for years now. I'm pretty miffed that I'd be forced to use Deffenbaugh for this service.

Let's not kill jobs folks. "

Exactly...

David Reynolds 2 years, 11 months ago

The proposal with increased fees clearly shows the ineptness of Cromwell & his hand picked green agenda committee.

If we are reducing staff, injuries, medical costs, dump fees (recycling says less material taken to the landfill, thus less cost to city) yet the city keeps the savings &raises user fees.

This whole process is a sham & an exhibition of certain commissioners hiding behind a committee to promote his personal agenda, in the face of the fact citizens do not want what is proposed.

This committee is acting in strict conflict of the values & desires of the citizens of Lawrence.

It is time the commission acted based on the interests of the citizens who elected them.

jafs 2 years, 11 months ago

Any evidence that the majority of citizens disagree with this?

If not, then the majority is in favor or neutral, in which case the process is working as it's intended to work - it does, of course, not include the wishes of the minority enough.

somedude20 2 years, 11 months ago

Just remember the Trash Heap was a wise being that gave advice to the Fraggles. I often ask my garbage for advice and have not been disappointed

Richard Heckler 2 years, 11 months ago

City jobs are among the best in pay and benefits. Where is the benefit to the local economy by dumping these jobs? There is zero benefit. I consider this much better use of my tax dollars than tax incentives to the local wealthy.

Better idea.... cut the tax dollar give away and keep people employed by the city.

Want to reduce the cost of trash service? Go to Pay As You Throw and keep City of Lawrence as the as the solid waste management team. Nobody will provide the same level of service that is currently be provided. This is good use of my tax dollars.

gatekeeper 2 years, 11 months ago

Thank you! Pay as you throw is the only logical solution.

Eileen Jones 2 years, 11 months ago

I agree. The city trash service is perfect as it is. It is not broken and does not need fixing.

More recycling bins around town would be welcome, and would be vastly preferable than what is proposed by the waste task force.

Cutting local jobs is a terrible goal to have.

gatekeeper 2 years, 11 months ago

Hack is a joke and the Amyx family is almost worse. All either cares about is their egos and lining their pockets. I wish the people in this city would wake up and boot their *sses.

Eileen Jones 2 years, 11 months ago

I suspect what you suspect, and it stinks. In fact it's screamingly obvious.

ToriFreak13 2 years, 11 months ago

You can't force your citizens to pay for a service that is available for free. Trash service is one thing. Obviously I will choose your pick up service over being charged $25 to dump myself (even though you control the rate i pay like the mafia). Recycling though can be done for FREE in this town. If you want to make your service optional and offer a competitive rate...go for it. Once again you can not force on us a less than adequate "pay for recycling" service when there are free options accepting more recyclables than your service will. If you can't even offer to pick up the same recyclables I can drop off in bins all around town. let alone Wal-Mart, your service is useless. You really think services like this will play a selling point to the senior citizens you are begging to move here anyway?

Clara Westphal 2 years, 11 months ago

I am 82 and live alone. There is no way I can handle a cart no matter what the size. I can drag a bag to the curb and that is about it.

Just put a dumpster for recycling with the other dumpsters that are available for paper and cardboard at 6th St. HyVee, Westlake on 6th and other locations. Problem solved.

sundowner 2 years, 11 months ago

I understand if you call the Sanitation Dept & tell them it is hard for you to handle the cart they will come get it for you. Hope this helps.

Smarmy_Schoolmarm 2 years, 11 months ago

Very true. My mom can't get down the hill in her walker let alone with trash of any sort. We called and they come up to the house to get her container (right outside her front door), dump it and then put it back. Thank you very much gentlemen! I have a feeling that if things change this won't be an option.

d_prowess 2 years, 11 months ago

I still have a problem that all indications are that this program will not include glass. So this plan will still end up requiring me to find someone where take my glass myself. Which, means if I am doing that, I can just as easily take all my recycling somewhere. I would probably be supportive of this plan if it included glass because it would be cheaper than what I pay to a private company right now. That company though only comes once a month and that is perfect for my house. Once a week pick-ups will just mean the trucks will drive past my house about 3 weeks out of every month!

Melinda Black 2 years, 11 months ago

Exactly. I currently pay for a service that picks up ALL of my recyclables, including glass. If the new program does not include glass, I will have to pay for 2 services: one incomplete service that is forced upon me and the one that I currently use so that I can get my glass picked up.

Argh...

waitjustaminute 2 years, 11 months ago

Don't want it, won't use it. My two person house only generates one bag of trash of week, well under 25 lbs. All other material we gladly recycle on our own at the various collection locations throughout town. To be forced to pay for recycling containers, which I will not use, is simply wrong and I'm calling BS. On a windy day in Kansas, of which there are many, there are already trash cans and lids from down the block all over the street . Times that by how many new containers are being suggested and you'll have a bigger eyesore. That's just one of about a dozen reasons why I am 100 percent against making this mandatory.

irvan moore 2 years, 11 months ago

cromwell has an agenda that will benefit him, not the citizens of lawrence

Eileen Jones 2 years, 11 months ago

I can't believe I voted for him, and expected something different.

Chris Ogle 2 years, 11 months ago

Cromwell is not interested in our opinion...............he has decided what is best for the rest of us. That really sucks for a person that was elected to serve us..

LHS56 2 years, 11 months ago

One big concern I don't believe is being addressed. If I recall correctly, 58 percent of the residences of Lawrence live in rental property. Ok....Cromwell doesn't include rental property in his proposal and still believes we should hit the 40 percent mark. Must be the new math stuff.
Why doesn't he just speak the truth and quit wasting the committee's and citizen's time. I believe he wants to eliminate jobs which of course will eliminate costs. Add the additional cost he is proposing and we have a loss loss situation. (wonder if he knows the cost of the automated trash trucks?) We have much more important issues the City needs to address than trash.

Eileen Jones 2 years, 11 months ago

If this were going to save money, they wouldn't be assuring us that our rates are going up.

RDE87 2 years, 11 months ago

"Residents of apartment complexes largely will have to wait to see what changes may be in store for their trash service. The report does not provide many recommendations for multifamily or commercial trash service, but said changes to the system are possible in the future."

For a city with a huge population of students (and other individuals) that live in multifamily homes I am surprised there is not more of an immediate emphasis on recycling for this type of housing.

beaujackson 2 years, 11 months ago

Maybe it's time for the trash truck drivers and workers to "fix" city hall.

FlintlockRifle 2 years, 11 months ago

Can I borrow your flashlight so I can sneak over to my neighbors trash bin ???

lunacydetector 2 years, 11 months ago

if i generate a kitchen sized trash can of garbage then i should be entitled to a reduction in my bill.

the communists at city hall.......

Carol Bowen 2 years, 11 months ago

I would prefer curbside recycling. It's easier and more convenient. (The city will provide assistance for anyone who needs it.) Most cities have had curbside trash pickup and recycling for a long time.

1) The cans would be too large. I hope they come up with a better idea. 2) I share the concern that our local recycling businesses would be cut out. 3) We should preserve the jobs. Not everyone has a college degree. 4)The sanitation workers are part of our neighborhood. Their activity and interaction provide security in neighborhoods where many people are away from home during the day. 5) People who have large volumes of trash, should pay more. If we start with a basic two cans, everyone pays a fare rate.

Matthew Herbert 2 years, 11 months ago

I have a compost pile of approximately 216 cubic feet. Under the Cromwell initiative, what sort of fee rebate/tax incentive will I receive for providing this environmentally conscious service to the city? Oh, nothing? That's right, because our city commission refuses to offer incentives to citizens to reach their goals, choosing instead the force/punishment approach.

beaujackson 2 years, 11 months ago

How is driver (only) trash pick-up going to work when you have cars parked in the streets in most of central Lawrence?

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