Evansville council to vote on automated garbage/recycling

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Gina Duwe
Friday, September 6, 2013

EVANSVILLE--Automated garbage and recycling collection by trucks equipped with hydraulic lifts could begin in Evansville in a few months.

The city council next week will discuss and likely vote on a new seven-year contract with Advanced Disposal to switch to an automated collection system using 95-gallon carts.

The discussion comes on City Administrator Dan Wietecha's recommendation and the finance and labor relations committee's 2-0 vote Thursday night.

Among the biggest changes residents would see--aside from using wheeled trash and recycling carts issued by the company--are switching from weekly recycling collection to recycling collection every two weeks and a likely $10 to $12 increase on their tax bills.

Evansville's contract with Advanced Disposal expires at the end of the year, and the city received bids from five companies.

Although proposals to continue using trash bags were less expensive, Wietecha said he's recommending Advanced Disposal's proposal for a cart system because carts offer advantages, including preventing items from blowing around neighborhoods and a likely increase in the volume of recycling as seen in other communities after a switch. A switch to carts is likely inevitable at some point, he added.

“It was a little bit of apples, oranges and pears to look at different proposals,” he said.

Each vendor calculated annual prices and bulk items differently, he said.

Residents pay $139 as a separate charge on their tax bills for garbage and recycling, but the fee includes curbside brush and yard waste pick-up, opening the yard-waste site for two days in summer and Christmas tree collection.

The city is early in its budget process, but Wietecha guessed the garbage and recycling charge probably would go up $10 to $12 under the proposed contract.

The garbage and recycling charge more than covers the city's current $250,000 contract with Advanced Disposal, Wietecha said. The remaining fees and a state recycling grant help cover the total expense of about $280,000, he said.

Advanced Disposal's proposal calls for charging each household $10.52 per month and rates rising with the consumer price index, but no more than 3 percent annually, starting in 2016. The price includes the cost of the carts.

The city now pays $9.80 per household, and if the city would stay with Advanced Disposal's bag system, the bid is $10.79.

With the cart system, Advanced Disposal would provide two 95-gallon carts to each household with garbage collected weekly and recycling every two weeks. Bulk items would be collected monthly, and freon-containing items and appliances would be an additional charge.

Collection days would switch to Tuesdays and Wednesdays from the current Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The switch would be made by Jan. 1, but Wietecha hopes the city can work with the vendor to speed up the switch a few weeks to avoid the change happening during the holidays.

This is the 11th year the city has contracted with Advanced Disposal, which has changed ownership a number of times. The company collects one bag of garbage and a bin of recyclables once a week from 1,850 homes plus a few small businesses and churches.

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