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Talking Trash: Here's What You Said

A total of 74 people responded to the village survey on trash services. Here's how the opinions broke down.

Early last month, the invited you to talk trash with them. And 74 of you took them up on it.

The village’s current contract with Republic Services (formerly Allied Waste Services) was signed in 2007, and expires in March of next year. Director Mike Pubentz is looking at options—including possibly going with another vendor.

Before making this decision, however, Pubentz wanted to know what options Montgomery residents would embrace. So he asked—for the past six weeks, he’s been collecting your responses to a survey posted on the village website. And at Tuesday’s Committee of the Whole meeting, he delivered his findings.

The current agreement costs residents $15.50 per month. Under that contract, Republic picks up two 33-gallon plastic bags per week. Any amount of trash over that, including bulk items, must be stickered, and paid for separately.

Republic will also take recyclables in 25-gallon bins, and one bag of yard waste or one bundle of brush each week. The village also has a senior program that allows those 65 and older to buy 14-gallon trash bags at a discounted rate, and avoid the monthly fee.

Sticking with the current plan was the first of five options Pubentz offered, and 24 percent of those who responded said not to change anything. A further 16 percent opted to keep the current plan, but add a covered recycling cart, at an extra cost. 

The most popular option by far, however, would add covered waste and recycle carts to the current plan, again at an additional cost. A full 42 percent of respondents went for that proposal. A fourth option to launch a pay-as-you-throw system based entirely on stickers pulled in 16 percent of the vote, and one person said yes to a more expensive three-cart system, for trash, recycling and yard waste.

Pubentz also collected comments from those who responded to the survey, and presented those to trustees Tuesday night as well. Among several calls to hold the line on costs, and to add additional yard waste bags to the service, Pubentz said he received seven complaints about Republic’s service.

Most of those, he said, related to trash spilling out of garbage cans when Republic workers dump them into the trucks, a problem that covered containers would fix.

What Pubentz did not have Tuesday night was a full breakdown of costs for each option. Trustees asked him to put one together, so they could see how much more expensive a two-cart option would be. Trustees have given Pubentz the go-ahead to negotiate with Republic, but also to put a request for proposals together for other vendors.

Trustees will continue the discussion at the Aug. 16 Committee of the Whole meeting.

 

Responses to the village's survey (74 in total):

Option 1: Current plan 18

Option 2: Current plan plus covered recycling cart 

12 Option 3: Current plan plus covered trash and recycling carts 31 Option 4: Current plan plus covered trash, recycling and yard waste carts 1 Option 5: Sticker-based pay-as-you-throw plan 12

 

Michael McDougall July 21, 2011 at 01:30 PM
Yay for option 3!!
Melisa July 21, 2011 at 02:13 PM
I like option 3 but if option 2 is cheaper then I am more for that one.
kpfarrer July 23, 2011 at 12:55 PM
I'm surprised more residents didn't vote for "Option 5: Sticker-based pay-as-you-throw plan". Option #5 seems like a better opportunity to reduce trash costs for each home. I am really curious about why people don't care for #5 - please let me know. Also, we need cost info to discuss and make decisions about trash. I'm really not sure why the village began this discussion without cost info. Cost info should be provided for true feedback and this should be done all over again. Residents need a better procedure to provide feedback too, an online survey or fill in form, and a side by side comparison of options and costs. Why isn't any cart info or any cart options included for option #5?
kpfarrer July 24, 2011 at 01:20 PM
Just bumping this back up. I'm interested in hearing why some residents preferred other options over pay-as-you-throw option 5, and why the village asked for resident feedback without providing cost info for all the options (will this be presented to residents again with all the cost info so we can make more educated choices?). Thanks.
Michael McDougall July 24, 2011 at 02:46 PM
I personally voted for the containers from the standpoint of personal preference. Not that I don't care about cost, but when I have to continually pick up my neighbors garbage because they do not contain the garbage properly, I want another option. We live in an area that is not protected from the wind. As all Montgomery residents know, the wind can be brutal. Especially on garbage day. Perhaps my opinion will change when they outline the costs, but really, how much more can it be? I did stress to the village that I actually like the way the garbage is handled and that the cost is exceptional. Aurora has the pay as you go option. Unfortunately, business owners in the town are forced to put locks on their garbage containers, because residents take their garbage to the businesses and dump instead of paying as they go. Not saying all is like this, but I have had personal info stating that an Aurora resident does this. They pay approx. $2.50 per sticker. I throw away 3 bags a week. You add that up, and I cannot believe the increase in closed lid containers is that much..
kpfarrer August 06, 2011 at 12:51 PM
Michael McDougall - Thank you for your feedback, you brought up some good issues to consider. I wonder if a pay-as-you-throw program could include covered containers somehow? I generate very little trash, and recycle a lot, and naturally don't want to pay more than I should have to, but I also live in a wind tunnel and lots of trash blows around. I hope the village will present this issue to residents again with complete cost and other information so we can make informed decisions. I still don't understand why this was presented for feedback without complete info. Does anyone know when the village plans to vote on this, and if they plan to get full info to residents before they do?

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