Archive for Thursday, December 27, 2007

New trash contract provides way to deal with excess garbage

December 27, 2007

In what they said as a nod to new realities, De Soto City Council members approved a new five-year contract with Weldon Enterprises to provide trash service in the city.

The contract, which will start Feb. 1, 2008, include a $2.25 increase in the monthly residential rate and will spot 95-gallon wheeled trash containers at most De Soto homes.

Weldon representatives had stated the new service would have a three- to four-week transition period and that once it was established only trash left in the wheeled containers would be picked up.

But that concerned Councilman Tim Maniez, who said the contract should acknowledge there would be weeks families exceeded the containers' capacity.

In response, Weldon will offer colored tags or bags, which customers could buy at City Hall or local convenience stores for $1 or five for $4. Excess left with the color-coded identification would be collected.

"That's the system that's in place in Kansas City, Mo.," Randy Weldon told the council last Thursday.

The plan satisfied all council members but Mike Drennon, who has been skeptical of the new program since it was first suggested. Last Thursday, he predicted it would be an "administrative nightmare" for city staff and that the people would throw excess trash in business dumpsters rather than buy the tags.

Weldon said there had been no complaints of illegal dumping in Eudora, where the new service was introduced four months ago. What he had experienced was greater use of the recycling bins the company provides for that city.

In response to a question from Maniez about the need of elderly customers for a 95-gallon container or their ability to wheel it to the curb, Weldon said smaller 35-gallon containers would be available and that the company would go to the doors of elderly or disabled to collect trash.

Weldon said the company would empty the recycling bin more often should demand increase and that a container for metal cans other than aluminum would soon be added at the collection site.

Council members praised company representatives for responding to all concerns brought up in the last two months.

With metropolitan area landfills filling up, trash service would become more expensive and more restrictive, council members agreed.

"Trash removal isn't a right," Councilwoman Mitra Templin said. "It's something you have to pay for.

The "more you use, the more you pay" was a practical way to deal with changing realities and could prevent mandated changes from the outside, Templin and Mayor Dave Anderson said.

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