Archive for Friday, March 22, 2013

Proposed recycling service leaves future of private curbside recycling companies uncertain

March 22, 2013


The city’s proposed curbside recycling program is creating a murky future for the seven private companies that offer curbside recycling services currently.

The proposed city ordinance technically will allow those companies to keep operating, if they get a license from the city. But if residents want to use those private companies, they’ll have to pay the company its monthly fee, plus the residents still will be obligated to pay the city’s new $2.81 per month fee.

Jeff Joseph said it is pretty easy for him to predict what that will mean for his nearly 12-year old business, Jeff’s Curbside Recycling.

“It is unfortunate because it probably will put us out of business,” Joseph said.

A bigger question, however, may be whether the current group of private recycling companies will continue to offer service up until the October 2014 start date for the city.

Joseph said he would continue to operate in a business-as-usual mode for the foreseeable future.

Deffenbaugh Industries, the largest of the private recycling companies with about 3,500 customers in Lawrence, said it would continue its weekly recycling service for the immediate future.

“We’ll just have to keep our customers informed as it unfolds,” Deffenbaugh said.

Other private recycling companies include Community Living Opportunities, D.R.A.W. Services, Home Recycling Service, Sunflower Curbside Recycling and Tree Hugger Recycling.

City officials previously have explained that the system needs to charge every household in the city the $2.81 per month fee in order to gain the economies of scale to make a citywide program financially feasible.

The proposed system doesn’t include service for commercial businesses, which could present an opportunity for private companies.

But it may be a short-lived opportunity. Chuck Soules, the city’s director of public works, said he expects the city in the next few years will start looking at how it can serve commercial market with its recycling program.


headdoctor 4 years, 12 months ago

I think the City should have had a real Lawyer look over their plan first. Bet there will be some legal action coming. There are a few companies that wont set still for this.

headdoctor 4 years, 12 months ago

I would like to know why the businesses are getting off free on this one.

tomatogrower 4 years, 12 months ago

You may have some points, but most businesses downtown pay big property taxes and bring in big sales tax, so they pay for the landscaping.

Nicholas Lindeman 4 years, 12 months ago

I live downtown and I sure don't have free parking. I bought a parking pass for $192. Where's the free parking?

Richard Heckler 4 years, 12 months ago

I say charge $5.62 for weekly pick up. One 95 gallon container will not do it for two weeks.... that's a fact. Or else give us two containers for 2.81.

texburgh 4 years, 12 months ago

I disagree. I recycle everything except glass with Deffenbaugh and their container is more than adequate - except perhaps after Christmas! Glass I handle separately and take myself to Ripple Glass containers around town but I could probably fit all my glass in the 95 gallon container as well.

The thing that really bothers me about this is that the city is a latecomer and essentially putting the businesses that came here to fill a void out of business. That's just not fair.

skull 4 years, 12 months ago

Are they going to offer a smaller can? The huge deffenbaugh one I have takes up lots of room in my garage, and I've never filled the thing up in a week.

grandnanny 4 years, 12 months ago

I am curious as to why we contracted with Hamms to do the recycling. As far as I know they don't have a recycling plant.
Are they building one? Do they have any experience? I also don't think every other week is a good deal. Currently I pay about $5.50 a month for every week.

headdoctor 4 years, 12 months ago

Yes, Hamm is suppose to build a new building.

Matthew Herbert 4 years, 12 months ago

Job creation via job elimination; hit your head hard enough and it makes total sense.

greenworm 4 years, 12 months ago

Hold on a second, weve been getting scammed by the cities sanitation department for decades, in this town. I don't know how much an hour a trash truck employee makes but I will guess estimate, 15 an hour for example purposes.

currently going on for years avg. sanitation employee works 5-7 hrs a day but gets paid for 8hrs everyday regardless.. so you can pretty much guarantee, every week thats 5-15 hrs that employee is overpaid, thats 75.00 to 225.00 per week, 300.00 to 900.00 dollars per month. and now the city is wanting to charge residents an extra 3.00 bucks a month for recycling.. no wonder its called the waste department..

skull 4 years, 12 months ago

Better yet, why don't we cut their pay, their medical freebies, maybe their vacation and lunch break too. Then another family can just figure out how to deal with less. These guys are just worthless "moochers" that need to get a real job...
$15 an hour? Wow, that's like just about enough to not live paycheck to paycheck. Better take care of that.

What happened to the American dream again? Oh yeah, trickle down economics.

Patricia Davis 4 years, 12 months ago

Does anyone know why Tree Hugger leaves his trailer of recycled goods still full on a side street behind Dillon's on 23rd? What a mess!

LogicMan 4 years, 12 months ago

What effect will this have on the various carry-in recycling points around town, including Walmart's? Hopefully no effect.

jafs 4 years, 12 months ago

Well, if you think about it, it will most likely mean that fewer people take their recycling there, which probably means they'll cut back in some way, either hours or staffing.

Mark Currie 4 years, 12 months ago

Now the city is telling us what to do with our trash. What if I just want to put it in one can and forget about it? I just don't have the energy to do the other. Pretty soon they will have mandatory bathroom cams @ 2.81 per month to monitor how much toilet paper we use. As to the guys who work on the back of the trash trucks, kudos to them. If you haven't ever done (I have), it is a hard, thankless job. I can think of a lot more govt. institutions that also waste large amounts of $$$. It is like Murphy said," No ones life, liberty, or happiness is safe when the legislature,(in this case city commission) is in session.

kcatchinson 4 years, 12 months ago

This recycling business is nonsense. What about the schools with Deffenbaugh bins that receive some money for the recyclables dumped there?! Way to go, City of Lawrence, you're taking money away from your schools!

jafs 4 years, 12 months ago

How does that work exactly? Do the schools get money from Deffenbaugh or just pay less for the bins?

My wife works at a non-profit with D bins, and they pay for them, just a bit less as their usage increases.

headdoctor 4 years, 12 months ago

Yup. It isn't a lot of money and I don't know if all schools are set up with Deffenbaugh but they get some money from the recycling and it goes to the Student Council. I don't know if some of the money is used elsewhere but that is the way it is with the schools I know about.

Drew Deck 4 years, 12 months ago

What a bunch of babies you all are. It's a good thing what the city is doing. Making it easier for all citizens to recycle yet everyone just wants to put forth their agenda in response. (Gov't is bad, no taxes, etc). This is why our political system is so fractured. Everyone thinking only about themselves. Pretty sad the average person can't see that this change is for the better. More recycling for a pretty minimal cost.

Matthew Herbert 4 years, 12 months ago

I'm not thinking about myself, I'm thinking about all the innovative individuals who created businesses and hired employees in this town based around an Earth-friendly practice. I'm thinking about how after they put in the investment to create a culture of recycling in this community, the city comes in and shuts them down by forcibly overtaking the market. Moving away from free market principles one policy at a time.

Mercy 4 years, 12 months ago

This is a bad deal! Where's all the Pro-Choice folks at! Another one-size fits all government program! I have recycled for years and have done so for far less than this program will cost. Plus, as the article indicates there are at least 3,500 customers already paying for a recycling service. For those that recycle, their trash already does NOT go in the trash query. So why do those of us that recycle have to subsidize this program? I’M PRO-CHOICE!! IT’S MY RIGHT TO CHOOSE MY RECYCLING PROGRAM! This right is mine just as my right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is.

Centerville 4 years, 12 months ago

There are seven private companies competing to serve people who want curbside recycling. Why make everyone pay for a government takeover of a service to the same customer base?

Bladerunner 4 years, 12 months ago

I'm tired of paying for something I don't want or need. My rental was vacant for 10 months and the city still charged me for trash fees. What BS. No trash to pick up. Now I'm being forced to pay for recycling too. I'm gonna roll that damn bin out to the curb and make em look into the empty bin every week! Putting 7 local businesses out of work so they can give the business to a huge corporation is ridiculous and should be illegal. Everyone gripes about Wal*Mart putting small business under. Why isn't anyone upset about the city doing it?

Matthew Herbert 4 years, 12 months ago

Empty 10 months? In Lawrence? That's on you. Fix it up, make it a good living space and charge appropriate rent and you'll have no problem in this town. In 5 years we've never had a place empty more than 3 weeks.

Centerville 4 years, 12 months ago

Don't bother rolling it out - use it for something worthwhile, like.a storage locker or, on its side, like a dog house.

Stayinpositive 4 years, 12 months ago

Why will they not pick it up every week like our trash? We have Deffenbaugh and we have recycling every week and we fill our container up.

headdoctor 4 years, 12 months ago

Is anyone willing to take bets on how much of this trash under the new program will actually end up in the landfill instead of recycled.

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