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City Hall

Taking out the trash set to change in Lawrence: earlier collection times, new days for yard waste

A city truck picks up yard waste in south Lawrence in this file photo from May 18, 2009.

A city truck picks up yard waste in south Lawrence in this file photo from May 18, 2009.

March 15, 2017

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When and how residents can set out yard waste is set to change.

Leaves, grass, tree branches and other yard waste will soon be picked up by the city on the same day as trash and recycling. Acceptable containers for yard waste and pickup times for trash and recycling will also change. The changes will take effect May 1.

Currently, city workers pick up yard waste on Mondays. Under the new schedule, yard waste will be picked up the same day of service as trash and recycling collection. Yard waste, trash and recycling will need to be set out by 6 a.m. Currently, trash and recycling does not have to be set out until 7 a.m.

In addition, residents will no longer be able to use their own bins or cans for yard waste, and instead must use compostable brown bags or a city yard waste cart. Bundles of brush can still be set out, and must continue to meet guidelines for weight and length.

Trash, recycling and yard waste will continue to be picked up by separate trucks, but the new schedule will be more efficient for staffing and routes, said Kathy Richardson, solid waste division manager. Richardson said that staff were sometimes working 9-10 hour days in order to get all the yard waste collected on Mondays.

“That is not sustainable over time, especially as the city continues to grow,” Richardson said. “So we needed to figure a more balanced work week for our staff.”

In addition, Richardson noted that unlike personal bins, the city’s yard waste containers can be attached and tipped by the city’s automated trucks. Compostable paper bags — which can be purchased at grocery and hardware stores — also help manage loads.

95-gallon city yard waste containers can be purchased for $60 by filling out an online form on the city’s website, or by calling or emailing solid waste at 832-3032 or solidwaste@lawrenceks.org, Richardson said. For those who choose to purchase a city yard waste bin, the cost will be added to their utility bill, and Richardson said they are working on an option to have it split up over six months.

The City Commission voted Tuesday to approve the changes. The city will include an informational insert about the changes in solid waste collection in utility bills next month.

Comments

Ralph Gage 4 months, 1 week ago

Oh, great. Work in the yard all weekend and now wait until the following Thursday for stuff to be collected. Store it where? Who decided this without any public comment or input? I guess everyone works for the city's convenience...

Jeff Dean 4 months, 1 week ago

Not to mention the fact that I cannot use my trash bin for yard waste anymore. :(

4 months, 1 week ago

"The city will include an informational insert about the changes in solid waste collection in utility bills next month" which the city pushed us to change to online, so presumably the flyer will be emailed to us?

Tony Peterson 4 months, 1 week ago

Guess I now have to throw away the four 55 gallon trash cans I've used for years for yard waste and buy paper bags that will just add to the amount of yard waste. However I'll first need to figure out how to get rid of the existing cans.

Ever tried to throw away a trash can? It's nearly impossible.

Crystal Patterson 4 months, 1 week ago

put a sign on them that says "free trash cans", someone will not be able to resist.

Scott Callahan 4 months, 1 week ago

So how many jobs will this ultimately eliminate?

Cille King 4 months, 1 week ago

The trash and recycling bins take up all the flat space available. Will they pick up bins and bags from the drainage ditch in front of our home?

Rick Aldrich 4 months, 1 week ago

Just set it all out in the middle of a street somewhere about 2 in the morning. The city will do the rest. Lol

Rick Aldrich 4 months, 1 week ago

P.S. It's beyond stupid to cancel the Monday yard waste pickup day. Like who can afford 4-6 dumpsters instead of 2 that pretty much does everything well with the current pickup schedule.

Michael Dennis 4 months, 1 week ago

Bitch, bitch, bitch. My god, people. First world problems...

Rick Masters 4 months, 1 week ago

There is definitely an argument regarding spending the weekend on a lawn (mowing, raking, branch removal) and having it have to sit there through the week before pickup. I wouldn't call that a "bitch, bitch, bitch."

Brandon Devlin 4 months, 1 week ago

I enjoy whining about first world problems. It reminds me that I live in the first world and don't have to worry about being jailed (or worse) for complaining about said problems.

Theodore Calvin 4 months, 1 week ago

Am I missing something? I don't see where the rental of their carts will be required. I didn't even realize they still allowed people to use their own bins. I thought they HAD to be in brown lawn bags.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 4 months, 1 week ago

It doesn't look like their bin is required, and you have to buy one anyway. They don't rent those. I see people using their own bins, and most seem small enough. Maybe there were enough people using large bins that were hard for workers to pick up, that they had to change the rules. The bins hold a lot, but we have often have to use bags on in the fall and the spring when there is extra clean up, or when we get behind on mowing. There are stands that hold up the paper bags. They are pretty handy.

Louis Kannen 4 months, 1 week ago

Ditto Michael Dennis above. Look into the most recent Ethiopian trash dump collapse that has claimed well over 110 lives. This is only ONE of many, many similar tragedies in in the World today, yet ironically, the 'petty whining of the inconvenienced' continues unabated. Time to get a major grip.

Ralph Reed 4 months, 1 week ago

The City Commission voted without public input. This goes beyond an inconvenience and is a brain dead solution pure and simple. Who voted for this idiocy?

The only time I have mow and do yard work is on the weekend; I can't take a vacation day every Thursday to do yardwork. So now I have to find some dry place to stow sometimes upwards of 5 brown bags for 5 days until the City picks them up. Then on top of that, the bags will be rotted on the bottom so I will have to rebag everything Thursday night before putting the bags to the curb.

Dan Edwards 4 months, 1 week ago

I don't think it's whining to speak out about a sudden change like this that disrupts routines people here have had for decades. The city did not provide a rationale (at least not in this article) why they're doing away with the ability to use your own container. If the answer is "we need to be able to pick up the container with the automated truck" then why are they still allowing paper bags, which are still going to require a human to get out of the truck, bend down and pick up the things--praying that last night's rain or the neighborhood mutt's leg lift don't make the bottom fall out.

Human intervention is still required in order to pick up yard waste, so why screw over people who already spent money on extra plastic trash containers for that purpose? Forcing those people to lay out another $60 for a behemoth cart (that can't be nested like regular plastic cans) or pay 50c per paper bag in perpetuity without a damn good reason just plain stinks.

Edwin Rothrock 4 months, 1 week ago

This may be more efficient for the city (although I can't see how since the number of truck trips will be the same), but it is much less efficient for many of us "customers". I have two of the large trash cans that for years have been doing great double duty as yard waste receptacles on Mondays and trash cans on Thursday as needed (as suggested on the City website). With recycling, that's three large carts already - I don't have room for a fourth. And paper bags are an unacceptable option - they are much, much harder to use than a trash cart, make a huge mess whenever it is windy or wet, and aren't machine loadable (so much for efficiency). We already compost a large amount of our yard waste, but small tree limbs, bush trimmings, and the volume of leaves beyond our compost pile's capacity at peak times will still need to be dealt with.

Brandon Devlin 4 months, 1 week ago

Add to that the rules that they feel they need to impose on the use of the bins as is. . .cannot be further than "x" feet from the curb, cannot be closer than "y" feet together. On a Tuesday morning, I'll be lucky to be able to get out of my driveway with the number of bins and bags I'll have.

Kathleen Christian 4 months, 1 week ago

Just GREAT!!! Watch the cost of those yard bags will increase - as if I can afford them. I'm on a fixed income and sorry the cost for these bags are not in my budget - neither is purchasing a special bin from the City. I plan to continue to use the bins I have for yard waste, if they don't empty them in their truck they will stay at the curb until they do or the City can provide me with special bags to put the waste in. I suggest everyone else do the same and perhaps the City will get the hint that their plan isn't practical. It's bad enough to have to waste money on plastic trash bags for garbage and now waste it on this. I have a real difficult time buying something just to throw away. That's why I use the grocery bags from shopping for my trash. So really what are people suppose to do who can't afford this extra expense?

Monty Scott 4 months, 1 week ago

I guess its time to blow the clippings back into street like everyone did 40 years ago. This has to be the dumbest thing the city has done for awhile.

David Holroyd 4 months, 1 week ago

The sanitation department is the money making scheme of the city. This is another way to cut costs and make more money.

Can a cardboard box, which is compostable, be used instead of the brown bags they talk about?

Ms. Christian, this is a money maker at everyone's expense. The water department is a fee collection department. and fees they do collect. I am out of town and the water bill at my house was $39.00 and some change. $4 something for water and the rest trash and sewer and storm runoff.

Lawrence is too expensive to live in and NOT ONE of the commissioners are attempting to reduce the city's costs nor the City manager advising them on how to do it.

Mr. Markus supports free streets for Mr, Krnisch in East Lawrence. Is trying to make the Fritzel ordeal go away. That issue needs to go to court and depostions taken. But that would mean that at least one seated commissioner would be under deposition as well as the Mr. Farmer.

Since the city likes naming rights. How's about some generous business people donate bags for recyling with the name of the business on them. Nothing like a trash bag that says " Eat at Ed's"

Duane Mellenbruch 4 months, 1 week ago

My complaint is that I purchased expensive cans many years ago with lift bars on them that allow the truck to lift and dump them. Then, I was told that I couldn't use those cans, as I would be required to rent cans that are provided by the city. Alright, so I use those cans for yard waste. Now I'm being told I can't use my own cans that already have lift bars, and that city works already use as intended with their lifting mechanism ..... because I need to buy city cans that can be lifted by city trucks. Hmmmm.

David Holroyd 4 months, 1 week ago

The bottom line, the santitation department is a money maker for the city or they wouldn't be doing it.

Where are the commissioners on this? Where is Mr. Boley on this who wants affordable housing but gives a rat's behind less about what the current costs are for those in housing?

Why can't the Journal World take the time to write in detail how this procedure will save time and money and lower cost to the consumers? I guess the Journal World doesn't have any investigative reporters anymore.

And what about the family that bought the paper, you know, the one's that own Mother Earth. Wha'ts mother earth say about the big trash trucks guzzling gas and cruising around to pick up yard waste only to spend more money on the processing of it. Hey, anyone in town got a bad street in front of their house?

Check out the nice asphalt parking lot for composting that the city does.

That's where your asphalt is. Mighty fine and dandy that lot is. Better than any FREE street Mr. Krnisch got even.

Just curious what is the salary of Mr. Kidney, the finance director, the one who worked with Ms.Stoddard before. Lawrence doesn't need to perpetuate nepotism...just get friends to hire friends.

John Hampton 4 months, 1 week ago

If this is the worst news you get this week... you're blessed.

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