City Hall

City Hall

City set to give final approval to new citywide, curbside recycling program

March 22, 2013


Lawrence residents, you have about 18 months to come up with an extra $2.81 per month.

Lawrence city commissioners at their Tuesday evening meeting are set to formally approve a new citywide curbside recycling program that would begin in late 2014 and add about $3 per month to every residential trash bill in the city.

“We think it is going to be a great program,” said Chuck Soules, the director of the city’s public works department, which will be responsible for running the program.

After more than a year of discussion, commissioners are set to approve an ordinance that provides a host of new details about the proposed service.

Here’s a look:

• Price: The city has settled on an initial fee of $2.81 per month for the curbside recycling service. As expected, every residential and multi-family resident who currently receives a city trash bill will be required to pay the fee. People won’t be required to actually recycle, but every resident will be required to pay the monthly fee, which will be added onto the city’s standard trash bill.

• Timing: The city will be ready to begin the service Oct. 15, 2014. That’s also when the $2.81-per-month rate increase will take effect.

• Frequency: Curbside collection will happen once every two weeks. The city will create a schedule showing what days each area of town is served. Soules said the new service likely will cause the trash day for many residents across the city to be changed. Households will have their recycling and trash picked up on the same days.

• Carts: The standard cart size delivered to households will be a 95-gallon cart. The standard-size trash cart delivered to residents recently is 65 gallons. Residents can request a smaller recycling cart, and since residents won’t be required to recycle, they can simply refuse to receive a cart from the city. But those residents still will pay the $2.81-per-month fee.

• Accepted materials. All recycling will be single stream, which means residents can throw all their recycling into a single container. Here’s what will be accepted:

— Glass bottles and jars

— Mixed paper such as magazines, junk mail, chipboard, telephone books and other similar materials

— Newspapers

— Office and printer paper

— Shredded paper, as long as it is bagged in a clear, plastic bag

— Cardboard containers, such as unwaxed cardboard boxes

— Tin, steel, aluminum and bimetal food and beverage containers

— Scrap metal that is less than 30 inches in each direction and less than 50 pounds in weight

— Plastic containers marked with recycling symbols No. 1 through No. 7

• Dumpsters: Residents who live in an area where their trash service is by a Dumpster won’t be getting a cart. Instead, the city will place a recycling Dumpster next to or near the existing trash Dumpster.

• Crews: City crews — the same department that picks up the city’s trash — will pick up the recycling. At the moment, though, it will take two separate crews to do the collection. The city does not have trucks that can haul the recycling and the trash at the same time.

• Recycling facility: The city on Tuesday will sign a seven-year contract — with two three-year renewal options — with Hamm Quarry to operate a new recycling collection facility just outside the Lawrence city limits. The multimillion-dollar facility will be built at the junction of Kansas Highway 32 and U.S. Highway 24/40, which is just east of the Lawrence Municipal Airport. Hamm is the Perry-based company that runs the landfill where Lawrence takes its trash.

• Fines: The ordinance does establish a $5 fine anytime a resident sets out a recycling cart that contains materials that are trash instead of recycling. The city ordinance specifically states residents aren’t to use the recycling carts for other purposes, such as storing yard waste.

Soules said the city will need to buy about three to four new solid waste trucks to operate the recycling program, and the city likely will need to hire about five new employees to make the system work. Those costs are designed to be covered by the new monthly fee.

State law prohibits the city from starting the recycling program before October 2014, in order to give private recycling companies in the city a chance to adjust.

Soules said the city has plenty of work to do in the meantime, such as figuring out new routes for the city.

“There’s still a lot of planning that has to go into all of this, but we’re excited about the possibilities,” Soules said.


JayhawkFan1985 5 years, 2 months ago

I will enthusiastically pay the extra fee to support curbside recycling. However, the city should reduce the trash collection fee as their tipping fees at the landfill and their fuel costs for the trucks will be lower on that side of the equation.

Lawrence should have led the state on recycling.

Steve Jacob 5 years, 2 months ago

"Reduce the trash collection fee" funniest thing I have heard today.

jafs 5 years, 2 months ago

Only if the recycling fees will cover all of the costs of running more trucks, which seems unlikely.

skinny 5 years, 2 months ago

Some much for trying to attract retirees to the area!!

pace 5 years, 2 months ago

A lot of retries would hesitate to move to a place without curbside recycling, waste of energy to require people to drive to deposit recyclables.

headdoctor 5 years, 2 months ago

Guess one article running on this wasn't good enough. Sort of renders the whole posting idea worthless and a waste of time. 2% content, 98% filler.

headdoctor 5 years, 2 months ago

There wont be anything cheap about this in the long run if they have to buy 3 to 4 new garbage trucks at $200k apiece.

Nicholas Lerner 5 years, 2 months ago

Couldn't be more in support of this. About time. Thank you.

del888 5 years, 2 months ago

Just let Deffenbaugh do the curbside. They already have the trucks, recycle bins, etc. and they are equipped to process the product after they pick it up. And the big plus is they are cheaper. Deffenbaugh is a win-win for everyone. The city is not equipped to handle this project.

tomatogrower 5 years, 2 months ago

Cheaper than $2.80? Deffenbaugh was charging so little, because they wanted to get the contract for trash and recycle pickup in Lawrence. It was a loss leader.

pace 5 years, 2 months ago

I have experienced working with deffenbogus, deals tO good to be true. I wouldn't,t want them on my propert.

Alceste 5 years, 2 months ago

so absurd. studies document that the touch feely recycle non-sense from the "curb side approach" is NOT cost effective. In fact, the production costs (including the price of petro fuel to drive the re-cycle trucks) greater than the actual results of the "recycle": It's all touchy feely woo woo.

Recycling is all about a DEPOSIT placed on the container during purchase.

But, then again....we're in Kansas and that'd be too much like right........

jafs 5 years, 2 months ago

I'd be interested in sources for those studies.

That's something I've been concerned about from the get-go with this program.

Alceste 5 years, 2 months ago

etc. So, it's a "crap shoot" and dependent on the methodology. This here is Lawrence, Kansas. Draw your own conclusion as to whether or not it will be cost effectively. shrug

jafs 5 years, 2 months ago


The first is about "financial cost" and doesn't discuss environmental cost/benefit.

The second is very item specific, and mainly talks about recycling old tires, which the city isn't planning to provide, as far as I know. And it mentions that recycled tires may take more gas to drive on than new ones. But it didn't do a good analysis of the overall costs of both, including any upfront savings on environmental issues with recycled ones.

The third is just a reprint of the first.

I would very much like to see some comprehensive environmental cost/benefit analyses of recycling programs, including both costs and benefits, to see what the overall net is - I guess those are hard to find.

Alceste 5 years, 1 month ago

you seem educated: Do your own research.....or is it just easier to believe what you're told. The Atlantic Monthly has printed articles documenting the "feel good woo woo" of recycling as has The Nation; The New York Times; etc. If you only read the, you're doomed to a lifetime of pure, utter ignorance............

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Well, sure I can do that.

But, you made a claim, and I asked for some supporting sources, which don't really address the issue.

Oh well.

Alceste 5 years, 1 month ago

what you say? "But in 2002, New York City, an early municipal recycling pioneer, found that its much-lauded program was losing money, so it eliminated glass and plastic recycling. According to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, recycling plastic and glass was costing twice as much as disposal. Meanwhile, low demand for the materials meant that much of it was ending up in landfills anyway, despite best intentions." Good enough for Alceste.....NYC is the "real world", too....

Alceste 5 years, 2 months ago

Studies are consistent in documenting that the COST to recycle EXCEEDS the recycling effort;and, that in fact, it is more costly and requires MORE utilization of resources to "re-cycle" than what actually occurs.

The "recycle process" is more a "touchy feely woo woo" piece of caca than it is in "...helping the environment.....": That is....more natural resources are utilized to "...recycle..." than are obtained from recycling. Incredible that the "....touchy feely woo woo....." crowd don't own this fact based reality.

City of Lawrence: Alceste will take your free cart but, be advised, it shall be utilized for something very different..... Good Grief....

jafs 5 years, 2 months ago

Source for those studies please?

I don't believe that recycling in general is more detrimental to the environment than not doing so.

pace 5 years, 2 months ago

Great time, this is a good long run decision. I like the schedule, My number one goal is to reduce waste, given that once every 2 weeks is great. we need to demand less frivolous packaging from the companies who want to sell their stuff to us.

pace 5 years, 1 month ago

Simplistic and uninformed. do all the tooth paste need a box? Just go to the hardware store and look. I do avoid packaging but to say that this community should not ask for less packaging in group would not satisfy results , denial of group consumer power is just some the thoughtless wish people who don't want to change. a little less packaging is not an infringement on your rights to triple packaging. If you have trouble with too little packaging, wrap your stuff up what you gat it home.

Alceste 5 years, 2 months ago

Ummmm..."We".....need to "demand" that a DEPOSIT is required on all plastic and glass "containers"........ergo......whiskey, beer, wine, soda, etc., etc., etc., etc.

The "curb side recycling" is touchy feely woo woo.......look up the numbers and one shall discover that the COSTS to recycle EXCEED the actual "recycle" benefit: MORE energy is spent to get "...the job done....." than to just "....let it be.....".

jafs 5 years, 2 months ago

You have to include the fact that by providing raw materials that don't have to be manufactured from scratch, recycling reduces the costs associated with that production.

Anthony Mall 5 years, 2 months ago

If the people in Lawrence weren't so lazy this would not be necessary... Wal-Mart, hy-vee, and dillions all have recycling programs that a few people use... You have no one to blame but yourselves...

Alceste 5 years, 2 months ago

WRONG, reality_check79

IF the state of Kansas wasn't so LAZY, we'd have a mandatory deposit built into the cost of glass bottles of all sorts; plastic bottles of a similar nature; and aluminum cans......

The state of Kansas legislature is simply too busy worrying about making certain each and every one of these political hacks get PAID via KPERS when "they" "Retire". Getting PAID is what being in the Kansas legislature is all about: Ask Rep. Paul Davis.....he'll be happy to tell you....and explain to you why he deserves being paid for a 372 day work year. NOT: Time and Again Alecest has requested written data from Rep. Davis' office about his own KPERS payoff....and, time and again Alceste has not had response one. These guys.....they're all in it it together: TO MAKE MONEY OFF THE BACKS OF THE WORKING PEOPLE OF KANSAS......

Anthony Mall 5 years, 2 months ago

Your plan is so popular that 10 states have started it since the 70's... Repealed in two states, and has been criticized by others for decades... And yes you are lazy if you cant take paper, cans, bottles and cardboard to a convenient location and drop it off... It is not just kansas, its 40 states...

Alceste 5 years, 2 months ago

Repealed because the consumers squealed so loudly having to actually return to the store to get the deposit back that the respective legislatures caved in......

pace 5 years, 1 month ago

Inaccurate , the repeal was not consumer driven. Birp was the lobby arm of the industry that greased the repeals. shame on the crooked politicos.

Alceste 5 years, 2 months ago

As a kid....I couldn't wait to find pop bottles and turn them in to get a whole nickel for each bottle. Sadly are young people of this day would rather find an "app" and put it on a sheet of plastic and "play".

Put a strong enough deposit on glass and plastic and it WILL work just like it did. Pehaps a nickel a bottle is too "old". How about $1.00 per bottle? Accounting for inflation, Alceste suspects that's a more better number. Yeah....$1.00 per bottle....people will stand in line to turn that back in.....

pace 5 years, 1 month ago

10 cents a bottle fuel almost full recovery, proceeds helping working families, charities, under employed, reduces litter. Only the large corporations don't like the bother and our Ks legislators would be out of the grease on the topic. the general public would't pay them to pass the bill, the corporation only pay for the very reasonable Bill to be blocked. The container bills supports most recycling in the deposit states.

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