Tonight, the Mayor and Council will have a discussion on the amendments to the Bulk Trash Program. Below, is an explanation of what will be brought forward for our consideration. I would like to hear your thoughts on the matter.
SCS Engineers, a solid waste management consultant, made the following recommendations and possible new collection fees.
The consultant surveyed the Big 10 communities and area local jurisdictions to learn about their bulk trash collection program guidelines. Most jurisdictions require an appointment for collection of bulky refuse items and about half of the jurisdictions charge a fee for their collection. Some local jurisdictions charge for each bulk item collected, while others charge per cubic yard.
For Special/Bulk Refuse Collection, SCS is recommending to charge $20 per item over limit beyond a 20-item limit annually; up to four (4) free collections per the calendar year. Alternatively, this fee for items could be charged beyond a 2-3 cubic yard limit per quarter. SCS Report also recommends prohibiting the collection of Contractor-Generated Materials. Home improvement material generated by the resident will be picked up within the proposed bulk trash rule (20 items /year). Collection fees for bulky refuse items exceeding identified quantities or incurring a charge must be paid in advance. The material must be placed in an organized manner separated into like materials. Materials improperly set out will not be collected. Residents may continue to drop off bulky refuse items at Public Works during clean-up events. These drop-off events will not be counted toward annual collection limits.
To encourage compliance with new or existing bulk trash collection policies, SCS Engineers recommends that the City, not pickup material or items that are unscheduled and just left out in the curb or are placed in an incorrect or unsafe manner. Rather, the City, through the Departments of Public Works and Public Services (Code Enforcement) should use such opportunities to educate residents on proper collection policies and practices through use of door hangers that: 1) inform and clarify proper procedures for the efficient and safe removal of bulk trash material including scheduling and placement; and 2) that the material must set out properly or be removed by other means within 24 hours; if not, the City will remove the material and bill the property owner via a lien on the property for the cost of removing the material, in the same manner, the City currently abates nuisances – City abates nuisance, then invoices and/or liens property for cost of abatement.
The Council will also discuss presentations to the City Council and the Committee for a Better Environment (CBE) that sought to address a few issues with the current method of bulk trash collection in the city.