Mt. Vernon Register-News

June 5, 2014

City talks recycling issues

The Register-News

---- — MT. VERNON — During the first month of the city’s new recycling program, there have been “some wrinkles.”

“There have been some wrinkles in implementation,” said City Projects Manager Nathan McKenna. “The biggest problems were that the many residents didn’t get their recycling containers on time and the company missed the pickup on some streets for the first two times.”

McKenna said in addition, many recycling totes were delivered outside the city limits to homes that do not receive trash service from the city.

“Republic Waste used a third party vendor to drop off the totes,” McKenna explained. “We provided them with a list of customers we have for trash service, but they somehow went beyond that. Also, some people who should have received totes didn’t get them in the city limits.”

McKenna, who is acting as the city’s liaison with Republic and working on behalf of citizens, said he has been working with Republic to sort out problems.

“They started picking up containers in the areas they shouldn’t have delivered in last week, and are dropping them off in areas that were initially missed,” McKenna reported. “When I find someone who needs a container

picked up or who didn’t get a container, I call (Republic) and they take care of it as soon as they can.”

McKenna said not all the comments he is receiving from the public is negative.

“It hasn’t all been bad calls,” McKenna said. “I’ve had calls from people who want to get the containers, they are excited about having curbside recycling. A lot of people are saying that it’s about time we did it. There are people who have been recycling for years on their own, and this makes it easier for them.”

McKenna said if anyone is still having issues with the recycling service to contact him at 242-6807.

“We can’t fix problems if we don’t know what they are,” McKenna said.

McKenna said the city has received calls from residents who do not want to participate in the recycling program and have asked to have their recycling tote picked up.

“We do that,” McKenna said. “But there isn’t a change reflected on their bill. Recycling is part of the whole bill. It’s just like landscape waste pickup and bulk pickup — even if you don’t choose to use the service, it’s still a part of the bill and an option for you.”

McKenna said due to the collection and container problems during the first month of service, City Manager Ron Neibert is negotiating with Republic Waste for a credit that will show up on bills at a future date if approved.