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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. Enlarge photo

March 15, 2017

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.

Originally published at: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2017/mar/15/yard-waste-collection-day-change-set-out-time-be-e/