Janesville66.3°

Council candidates' stance on the landfill

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Gazette Staff
March 30, 2010
The council will sometime in the future discuss landfill issues. Janesville residents have never paid for their garbage pickup and, in fact, the landfill subsidizes the general fund.
Recently, it was suggested that residents pay for bags over a set amount. Do you support that?
Is it good business sense to seek out contracts to bring out-of-city and out-of-county garbage into the landfill to offset costs for residents?
Briarmoon: Why do we short-sell our landfill space to outsiders for such a cheap amount per ton? Why are residents charged to take their own garbage in? Why are the hours of operation so long with so much overtime cost? Why do the hours not serve our citizens verses the outsiders who don't pay enough? And why would you use our landfill income for other expenses and then charge us for our own garbage pick-up?
Hoppenjan: No pick-up fees. Encourage recycling. Limit the garbage brought in from outside the city.
McDonald: Depending on the nature and details of the proposal, I would be willing to entertain the idea of residents paying for garbage they put out to the curb. From a financial standpoint and an environmental standpoint, it makes sense for us to pay for the waste we create. Regarding out-of-town trash coming to our landfill, we have a disturbing trend that needs to be reversed. Over the years, the city has taken in more and more garbage from outside the community to increase revenue. This will catch up with us with negative implications to our environment and the millions we will have to spend to build a new landfill.
Rashkin: Charging a fee for excessive amounts of garbage needs to be considered seriously by the council. I am concerned it might lead to undesirable effects. Even if the council ultimately decides to reject a proposal, discussions of new ideas for additional revenue need to continue. This coming budget season, the council will be faced with some difficult choices. For a long time, we have relied on our landfill to provide the city with cash flow. Yet, as the profitability of our landfill has declined with the overall decline in the economy, we need to consider the consequences of our actions and look at charging fair rates for the right to use our landfill.
Voskuil: We need to review existing landfill policies and procedures and give serious consideration to the fiscal and environmental impact within the city. Based upon these discussions, we may need to reevaluate resident garbage, as well as out-of-city and out-of-county garbage, and change the way the city does business at the landfill. The landfill does subsidize the general fund, and we would need to determine where we would offset the funding if we changed policies and procedures at the landfill.

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