Archive for Friday, March 17, 2017

Editorial: Sensible move on yard waste

Though not perfect, the city’s new schedule for yard waste collection is good for efficiency and rates.

March 17, 2017

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The city of Lawrence’s new schedule for collecting yard waste is a sensible move that offers efficiencies and should keep rates lower. However, the city commission should have given greater notice and taken more public input before implementing changes that have such broad impact.

Starting May 1, leaves, grass, tree branches and other yard waste will be picked up by the city on the same day as trash and recycling. Historically, the city has collected yard waste on Mondays.

Other changes include that all waste — garbage, recycling and yard waste — must be placed at the curbside by 6 a.m. on the day of collection instead of 7 a.m. Also, residents cannot use their own trash containers for yard waste, which will only be collected if placed in a city yard waste cart, in brown recyclable bags or in bundles that meet city guidelines for weight and length.

The City Commission approved the changes Tuesday. The city plans to include an informational insert about the changes in utility bills next month.

The item was approved with little discussion. The changes were included as part of the commission’s consent agenda — a group of action items which require little discussion and are generally approved in a single vote — until a resident asked that the item be discussed independently. After the resident asked her question, commissioners approved the changes unanimously without further discussion.

It would have been preferable for the city commission to publicize the proposed changes and take public comment prior to voting to implement the changes.

There are certainly concerns with the plan. Monday is an ideal day for yard waste collection because most residents do yard work on the weekends and could count on waste being collected almost immediately. Now, residents who have trash collection later in the week will either have to store yard waste or leave it curbside for several days. Also, the city’s decision to require city yard waste carts or brown paper bags will cost some residents. The city charges $60 for its cart.

The benefits of the changes are that they allow the city to reduce route costs and staff schedules, making waste collection more efficient. That should result in rate benefits for residents. For neighborhoods, the changes reduce the number of days that garbage and waste are curbside.

To help address residents’ concerns about the changes the city should consider adding Sunday or Monday hours for its Compost Facility on 11th Street, which is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays now. That would give residents more flexibility in dropping off yard waste as an alternative to waiting for curbside collection.

Comments

John Lee 8 months, 4 weeks ago

Or, here's a better solution: Everyone manage their own yard wastes. Unless you are elderly or handicapped beyond the capacity to move outdoors for an hour or so a week, there is no reason persons or neighborhoods cannot process their own yard wastes into their own compost, which can be used to grow their own food or offered to neighbors who do.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 8 months, 4 weeks ago

That would be nice, but many people do not have the time to process their yard waste. I'm still busy and getting older, so I would rather the city do all the turning and cooking of the compost, then I can go get some from them.

Tony Peterson 8 months, 4 weeks ago

I'll call you in a few weeks when ten million maple and elm seeds start falling from the trees and you can help me "compost" them. And then come back in the fall when my yard is knee-deep in leaves. Not everyone lives in new neighborhoods where the trees haven't reached maturity yet.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 8 months, 4 weeks ago

I don't mind the requirement to use the paper sacks or get one of the city dumpsters, but why doing it all on the same day? Most people do their yard work on the weekends, and would to get rid of the paper bags with yard waste before it rains.

John Hampton 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Dorothy,

I think the ENTIRE point of this is to do it on the same day.

David Holroyd 8 months, 4 weeks ago

Good for rates? Whose rates?

Is it at all possible for the Journal World to take the time to write a truly investigative story of the City of Lawrence sanitation department detailing the income and ALL expenses including salaries of all employees. Let's see if , in fact, the department is a money maker.

what about a cardboard box unnamed editorial writer? Why are these editorials not signed? Are the writers ashamed of what they write?

John Hampton 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Many other forums, comment sections and message boards have "ignore" poster options.... when will this same utility be available for the JW message board readers?

Commenting has been disabled for this item.

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