Advertisement

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

Advertisement

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

beaujackson 2 years, 2 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?

0

Matthew Herbert 2 years, 2 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.

0

Carol Bowen 2 years, 3 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.

0

lunacydetector 2 years, 3 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.......

0

FlintlockRifle 2 years, 3 months ago

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

0

beaujackson 2 years, 3 months ago

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

0

oneeye_wilbur 2 years, 3 months ago

If a house is not occupied is the only way to defer the fee, turn off the water?

0

RDE87 2 years, 3 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.

0

LHS56 2 years, 3 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.

0

Chris Ogle 2 years, 3 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..

0

irvan moore 2 years, 3 months ago

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

0

waitjustaminute 2 years, 3 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.

0

d_prowess 2 years, 3 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!

0

Clara Westphal 2 years, 3 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.

0

Les Blevins 2 years, 3 months ago

As a followup to my previous posting I will just mention that although I have sent City Manager David Corliss at least 10 letters since 2009,, he has not answered any of them.

Here copied below are the first two paragraphs of the last letter I sent Mr. Corliss back in early 2011.

Dear Mr. Corliss:

Advanced waste processing (see attached article) is beginning to get underway in the United States. It's an idea that's time has come. I became interested in and began researching this field in the 1970s and my research and development effort is what led to a novel patented waste processing technology in the 1990s. This technology is intended to allow even small towns and small cities to install this novel new approach to processing their locally generated waste streams. I believe this is actually much better, from an economic and an environmental standpoint, than paying public money to sweep waste materials under the rug, as landfilling amounts to.

Lawrence could insure its future if it were to be the place where advanced waste processing technology is being manufactured for the North American market and the new industrial park on Lawrence's southeast side would be an ideal location for such a manufacturing facility.

0

ToriFreak13 2 years, 3 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?

0

Les Blevins 2 years, 3 months ago

Have I mentioned yet that my plan/proposal for the City of Lawrence would effectively double the recycling rate to well above 50% and reduce costs for the city and not require any loss of jobs? Have I mentioned that my proposal has been communicated to the city many times by letter and by email? And have I mentioned that Mayor Hack once said “write me a letter” when I put forward an email about my plan and said she would respond, but didn't, and still didn't even after the second letter? And did I mention that Mike Amyx has promised over and over again over the past five years that he would write a letter of support, but still hasn't gotten around to it? All this makes me think the city leaders are getting some form of under the table payments in exchange for keeping the city's trash headed to the landfill. I say that because the plan I've been asking the city to consider would cut the tonnage the city pays to tip at the landfill would be reduced, and eventually be reduced by about half or more. I’ll forward those letters to requests sent to Lblevins@aaecorp.com with the word “letters” in the subject line.

0

Richard Heckler 2 years, 3 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.

0

somedude20 2 years, 3 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

0

citizen1 2 years, 3 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.

0

Richard Heckler 2 years, 3 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...

0

1029 2 years, 3 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.

0

Jana Rea 2 years, 3 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.

0

Melinda Black 2 years, 3 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.

0

Gedanken 2 years, 3 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.

0

Enlightenment 2 years, 3 months ago

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

0

patkindle 2 years, 3 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

0

Floyd Craig 2 years, 3 months ago

yes he dosent care if the men and woman loose thier jobs hes got money and will make more probly got his hand out to collect some from the city having to buy new trucks again with fancy dudads and the employees gos hungry plus thier children looks like he shouldnt have been put in city hall along with the other rich **** elect some one who cares then ones we have now sure dont

0

TheBigW 2 years, 3 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.

0

JackMcKee 2 years, 3 months ago

Cromwell is every bit as bad as Brownback. Recall.

0

poolside 2 years, 3 months ago

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

0

skinny 2 years, 3 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!!

0

Benjamin Roberts 2 years, 3 months ago

I am not zealot on recycling. However, the single-stream collection bins at the public schools prompted me to participate. First, there is no cost to me; zero, nada, nothing. Second, the school and/or PTA gets paid, by Deffenbaugh, for the cubic feet of recyclables collected.

0

Randall Barnes 2 years, 3 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.

0

irvan moore 2 years, 3 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.

0

cheeseburger 2 years, 3 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.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.