Council discusses city-wide trash bins

Submitted by Carbondale Times on

Dustin Duncan
Carbondale Times

    Carbondale residents can expect some changes in the way their trash is picked up as the Carbondale City Council discussed providing each resident with a city-purchased rolling trashcan.
    According to Carbondale City Manager Gary Williams, the City Council approved the purchase of 4,400 95-gallon roll-out carts. Because of this purchase, the city has discussed changes to the refuse code. There was no action taken Tuesday night, so none of the changes have been implemented.
    Such changes include requiring the use of the city-provided container, at least one of which  will be provided to each customer. Williams said customers can request one additional 95-gallon can for a one-time fee of $50. The monthly charge for an additional cart was proposed at 75 percent of the monthly rate, or $9 on top of the monthly rate.
    Also, the allotted weekly trash volume would be reduced form 200 gallon to 95 gallons -- or one cart. The refuse rates would remain the same ­— $12. Any resufes left outside of the can would result in extra charges — $10 for the first minute, plus $7.50 for each additional minute.
    Damaged cans, due to normal wear and tear, will be repaired or replaced by the city at no cost, but damaged cans due to negligence will cost the customer $75.
    Public Works Director Sean Henry said one of the goals of this new initiative is to encourage more recycling.
    One of the major sticking points of the meeting was the cost of the second bin, if needed.
    “If a person can’t pay $50 for a new bin, maybe we can add a certain amount on their water bill each month over a 12-month period,” Councilman Navreet Kang said.
    Additionally, the extra $9 a month for an additional bin, on top of the $50, was also a concern.
    Henry said it’s pretty standard for an extra monthly free when more cans are involved, but the fee doesn’t have to be 75 percent.
    “Maybe it could be 50 percent,” he said. “We are just putting things out there for discussion.”
    Councilman Adam Loos said he would like to see more people recycling, and if there is a charge for additional refuse, it’s possible more recycling will happen.
    “There should be some disincentive for hauling all that stuff to the curb instead of recycling,” he said. “I think you will find more people who need fewer cans, and then it also addresses the environment aspect of it as well.”
    Councilman Jeff Doherty said he would rather charge the customer the $50 for a new bin and keep the monthly rate the same.
    “Pay the $50, and then they roll it out and we dump for $12 a month,” he said. “That would keep the 200-gallon level that we have now.”
    Councilwoman Jessica Bradshaw said it should be required if a person requests a second bin, make sure the customer is aware recycling for plastic and paper is included in their trash payment.
    Former mayor and councilman Don Monty said requiring everybody to use one size of a container is inappropriate.
    “It is obviously slanted to the convenience of the city,” he said. “It does not take into consideration the convenience of the customer.”
    He said the city could provide a size small than 95 gallons if a customer doesn’t fill it up, or customers could provide their own receptacle if it meets city standards.
    The council came to a consensus after about an hour that it would order 95-gallon and 45-gallon bins for customers and charge for the pickup and not the can.
    Williams said the final ordinance change would probably come at the June 6 council meeting. Pending approval of the ordinance, the city would have to bid the purchase of the bins and approve it. After that three-week process, the city would have to inquire about the needs of residents in the city and then place an order.
    He said if there are no bumps in the road with council approval and ordering, the new bins will probably be in use about late October/early November.