Archive for Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Lawrence approves citywide curbside recycling program to begin in October 2014

March 26, 2013


A citywide curbside recycling program is on the way for delivery in Lawrence by October 2014.

“There is not going to be another city in the country that allows their residents to recycle so many materials so easily,” City Commissioner Aron Cromwell said. “This is a chance for us to become the progressive community we all talk about.”

City commissioners on Tuesday agreed to start a new every-other-week curbside recycling service on Oct. 15, 2014. Every household in the city will pay $2.81 per month for the service. The fee will be added onto residents’ monthly city utility bills.

Commissioners created the new service on a 4-1 vote. City Commissioner Mike Amyx voted against the proposal, saying he wanted the city to look for ways to lessen the effect the new service would have on the approximately half-dozen private recycling companies that operate in the city.

“I feel like we are going through a taking of these people’s businesses,” Amyx said. “I’m not sure it is our job to put somebody out of business.”

State law requires the city to wait 18 months, in large part to give private haulers time to adjust their business plans. City commissioners said they didn’t think buying out the private companies would be financially feasible.

The private companies will be allowed to continue operating, if they receive a license fromthe city. But their businesses are expected to be affected because the new service will require every household to pay the $2.81 fee to the city, even if the household chooses to do business with a private recycler.

The new service will be a single stream recycling system that accepts glass, paper, cardboard, tin, steel, aluminum, scrap metal and plastic containers with recycling symbols #1 through #7.

Commissioners on a 5-0 vote awarded a seven-year contract to Perry-based Hamm Quarries to operate a recycling processing facility just outside of North Lawrence to process the material collected from the new curbside program.


Richard Heckler 1 year ago

It is sad that the city will not allow taxpayers to opt out of this deal in favor of our own private choices . Our recycler person advised that when city hall takes over he is done.

For commissioners to infer that Lawrence has been doing local recyclers a favor by not taking this matter on is arrogance beyond belief. Then implying by putting them out of business it should push their creative buttons on ways to continue.

Remember these are the big campaign spending local business people that think this way Then voters turn around and vote in the big campaign spenders one more time yet failing to notice these new faces are like the existing faces = no change.


avarom 1 year ago

Welcome to the Kansas Canspiracy.....just wait until they start really getting into the "Go Green Theory" stop giving out plastic bags at the grocery stores..... start charging for groceries bags (5-10 cents) if you don't bring your own.....this is just the start start saving those bags.......Yup!


oneeye_wilbur 1 year ago

Amyx, I am not sure or I am sure? Which is it? Take a stand!


oneeye_wilbur 1 year ago

The city isn't working with Hamm the city is working for Hamm. Hamm is the breadwinner in this deal.

Where are the folks who claimed Eagle Bemd competes with private golf courses. But it is okay for the city to compete with local recyclers?

Can't wait for the mess at complexes and dumpsters around town. I know first hand where this was tried and the recycle dumpster was finally removed.


Carol Bowen 1 year ago

Lawrence's unfriendly towards business reputation is not because of neighborhoods. It's the city commissions that discourage home grown and existing businesses. Think KMart closed off by construction, Potter's gas station not allowed to improve, Alvamar Golf Course forced to compete with the city course, struggling athletic clubs forced to compete with Parks and Rec, . . . Now, the city is forcing independent recycling businesses out of business, because the city cannot afford to buy them out? Something wrong with contracting?

I do support curbside recycling. At least the city is working with Hamm, a local business. I wonder if the city has opened itself up to a lawsuit by the independents.


Liberal 1 year ago

What bidding process was gone through to assure Hamm was the company to go with?


Richard Heckler 1 year ago

I've written our recycler pick-up person to get a feel for what's up. Has anyone from the LJW been in contact with these sources?


Richard Heckler 1 year ago

Last night at the CC meeting it was revealed that if residents need more than one 95 gallon container no problem and no additional cost.

The cost to customers is outstanding however why not charge $5.00 a month for weekly pick-up?


Conz24 1 year ago

So businesses are already providing a service which the government will compete using a forced pay but voluntary system therefore lowering the cost to the point of eliminating private jobs and replacing them with government jobs. This is insane! How will they address the layoffs or downsizing private companies will have to do when they lose 100% of the recycling customers? More government spending no doubt!


Karl_Hungus 1 year ago

Keep on taking more and more of our money and you have to build a much larger homeless palace for us and wider sidewalks so we can panhandle (beg) for money to pay your larger bills.


Les Blevins 1 year ago

A revamped recycling system in San Jose, California has tripled that city's recycling rate.

In its first six months, the city's new single-hauler system combined with their material sorting system prompted a recycling increase from 22% to almost 70% among the 8,000 businesses and residents affected by the change.

After eight years of planning, negotiation and other hurdles, San Jose officials last year inked a 15-year deal with Republic Services Inc. to handle recycling services for the city beginning back in July 2012.

If Lawrence businesses and residents set out recyclables in one container and the rest in another container those other containers could be sent to another type of material recovery system based on technology I've developed and that portion of the city's waste stream could be converted into power for the local distribution grid and biofuels for use in the city's fleet of vehicles which includes the sanitation trucks. Such a system could be installed on the City's near east side near the waste-water treatment plant and this would save the city a lot of money on trucking and tipping fees. I estimate the city could save between $2M and $4M annually with such a system. Write to for more information.


headdoctor 1 year ago

You might as well save on your water bill from wasting the water to rinse out the glass containers. Most of it will eventually end up in the landfill anyway. Sand and the heat to make glass is still cheaper than cost of buying and remaking recycled glass into something useful.

Recycling has always been tied to the economics of it. Being more green and sustainable is a noble cause but more often than not the purpose ends up not being so green or sustainable.


aryastark1984 1 year ago

Just happy someone is finally going to pick up glass!


gatekeeper 1 year ago

Just want to remind everyone that instead of throwing aluminum in the recycling bins, please take it to the Animal Shelter. They use the funds to help spay and neuter animals, cutting down on the population of unwanted pets. They have a fenced area to put it in that's open during their regular business hours.


sunny 1 year ago

Forced to pay for something I will not use! Cromwell is a joke!


KansasLiberal 1 year ago

Recycling used to be a pain in the butt back when you had to separate everything, but with single stream recycling it's easy. You'll also be amazed by how much of what you've been throwing away is recyclable.


HootyWho 1 year ago

I lived briefly in New Jersey, mandatory recycling there, will i have to wash the cans and bottles? didn't out there, but i lived in an apartment with big bins right outside my door, i just tossed stuff in as i used it


foggydew 1 year ago

Anyone out there know if there will still be recycling bins in town so those of us in the county can still bring in all our stuff to recycle?


Norma Jeane Baker 1 year ago

“There is not going to be another city in the country that allows their residents to recycle so many materials so easily,” City Commissioner Aron Cromwell said. ~~~ Baloney! My parents have been recycling all the materials mentioned - every single one of them - picked up weekly, for over 10 years in their SW Florida town.


Ichegoya 1 year ago

Will we have to sort stuff, or just dump it all in the container?


optimist 1 year ago

If being a "progressive city" means creating government owned enterprises, forcing citizens to contribute to them whether they want to or not, providing inferior service (bi-weekly rather than weekly pick-up), putting private sector companies out of business resulting in the loss of dozens of jobs then why would anyone want to be "progressive". While this sounds all well and good I remember when this "progressive" city sold us on a golf course for the masses. It would be inexpensive to golf there, it would pay for itself and it would welcome everyone. Her we are more than a decade later and the taxpayers have subsidized it most if not every year of its existence, it is far from affordable for most and it seems as restrictive or more so about attire than any of the other courses in the city. When are we going to figure out that with Government involvement nothing ever seems to be what is promised. I expect much of the same here.


vanessaliobanewton 1 year ago

It is either in Oregon or Washington that have a recycling program that allows people to recycle as much as they desire (have as many bins as they need) and they charge people for how many trash cans they have. I'm just briefly looking through Oregon's state law on recycling and their goals and aims. "In 2010, Oregon met its 50 percent statewide recovery goal." It looks like they even provide a mini can option for trash cans. There are some states that are doing recycling very well and researching into how they implemented their programs could prove to be useful.


George_Braziller 1 year ago

Well this is $2.81 a month I'll be forced to pay for something I'll never use. Right now I take my aluminum to the recycling center and they pay ME for it. Glass goes in the Ripple bin for free, and rarely have any paper or plastic. My total weekly trash consists of one 13 gallon bag from the kitchen and sometimes it's one every two weeks.


Tim Bateman 1 year ago

I am not sure the every other week pickup is any cheaper/better than what Deffenbaugh currently offers. They are $5/month but they pick up every week. Like someone else above, I fill up my cart weekly so only going approximately 1.5 times my cart size but picking it up half as often doesn't add up. I do like that they are picking up glass, but that is only going to make the every other week pick-up that much more of a problem.


skinny 1 year ago

Mike Amyx is the only guy on there with any brains. We also need to get rid of Chad and get a new Mayor!!

This is one way to attract retirees to Lawrence!! Just keep raising the prices on everything. I am moving to Vegas, there are no property taxes on homes!


Pete_Schweti 1 year ago

Awesome! My already exorbitant "utility" bill is going up--once again for something I didn't ask the gazillion dollar rec center and the gazillion dollar parking garage for Downtown Lawrence, Inc. I mean, erm, LIBRARY.

Is there nothing people in this city won't say no to spending the public's money on?


John Pultz 1 year ago

I worry about pickup only every other week. We currently use Deffenbaugh recycling and fill the bin to the top most weeks with weekly pickup. We are a family of five and conscientiously recycle all eligible items. Will the new bins be larger than the current Deffenbaugh bins?


Richard Heckler 1 year ago


Is city hall investing tax dollars in the for profit MRF operation at Hamm's?


Richard Heckler 1 year ago

One option the city commission could implement. Allow taxpayers to opt out and keep the locals busy. That should not be a big problem administratively.

An option for taxpayers being billed yet want to retain the local recycling people is pay the $2.81 then use the new city recycling containers that will keep stuff dry. The new MRF will allow our locals to not need our stuff sorted which might make life easier.

Would the new containers be a bit much for the local recycler business people? I'll need to ask around.


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