Mt. Vernon Register-News

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February 12, 2014

City council talks trash

MT. VERNON — As the city’s contracts for trash pickup expire, the council is looking adding landscape disposal and recycling to the new proposals.

“Our current contract was with Midwest Waste, which was bought out and is now run by Republic,” said City Manager Ron Neibert. “The contract expires on April 30. Now is the time to discuss the levels of service and options.”

At this time, the city provides weekly residential pickup, unlimited weekly bulk item pickup and seasonal landscape waste pickup at curbside.

“The residents are charged $10.99 per month for the service, based on the number of customers and the monthly cost to provide the service,” Neibert said. “The council has had several discussions about landscape waste and the possibility of eliminating leaf burning.”

The council has decided to ask for bids which include alternate bids for additional landscape waste pickups, and the seasonal pickups which are now in effect. Getting the bids does not lock the council into making a decision to ban leaf burning at this time.

“It shouldn’t be just the mayor and council making that decision,” Mayor Mary Jane Chesley said. “I like the idea of doing a survey and allowing people to participate in the process. ... We want to make a decision based on what the large majority of people want.”

“Some people may not believe a burn ban is necessary,” Councilman Ron Lash added. “We need to know.”

In addition, the idea of curbside recycling has been discussed previously by the council, and the trash bids will also include alternate bids regarding recycling.

“An option is to have curbside totes, where customers would get two totes instead of the one they get now,” Neibert said. “The recycling tote would be a different color. Anyone who wishes to recycle would throw recyclable material in that tote and the trash in the other tote. The trash company would then sort out the types of recyclables — paper and cardboard, glass, metals and plastics.”

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