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Milton holding forum on garbage, recycling collection plan

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NEIL W. JOHNSON
September 3, 2011
— The Milton City Council could decide on a new garbage and recycling contract as early as Tuesday.

Before it does, however, a forum will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 430 E. High St. At the forum, residents will hear several options for garbage and recycling pickup—including a plan to contract with the city of Janesville.


Residents also will be allowed to comment on the proposals and give the city input on how it should handle collection services in the future. The council could choose a contractor after the forum during its meeting at 7 p.m.


The council decided in June to seek proposals for collection services because the city’s five-year contract with Waste Management has expired.


City Administrator Jerry Schuetz said last month that Waste Management’s rates have gone up substantially. He said the city decided to seek proposals to see if it could save money through a private contractor or through shared service with another municipality.


Milton received proposals from the city of Janesville and from its own public works department. It also received private contractor bids from John’s Disposal Service of Whitewater, Rock Disposal of Janesville, Veolia Environmental Services of Fort Atkinson and Waste Management of Janesville.


At Tuesday’s forum, the city will outline costs and benefits of these options:


--Continuing to contract with Waste Management.


--Choosing a new private contractor.


--Contracting with the city of Janesville. Under that plan, Janesville would buy another garbage truck and spread the cost across a five-year contract.


Janesville officials have said a contract with Milton would allow Janesville to maintain its staff and turn a small profit, while providing trash collection to Milton at a reduced cost.


--Contract with Milton’s own public works department. Milton ran its own garbage and recycling service using city employees until 2005, when it decided to privatize the service. If the city again took over the service, it would have to provide its own garbage truck and someone to operate it, officials said.


If the city chooses a different contractor to handle garbage and recycling, the change would go into effect Jan. 1, 2012. It’s not clear how rates would change or how residents could be billed.


Residential customers now are charged an annual flat fee of $154.


Schuetz said mailing one bill a year has reduced costs for the city but added that it’s possible the billing schedule could be changed, if needed.


However, Schuetz said he would not encourage the council to revert to a levied service.


If you go

What: Public forum on options for city of Milton garbage and recycling pickup


When: 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6.


Where: City Hall, 430 E. High St., Milton.


Details: Residents will hear proposals from public and private contractors that have bid on a garbage and recycling contract for the city.


Proposals will come from four private contractors, plus the public works departments from the cities of Janesville and Milton. Residents will be allowed to comment and give suggestions on how the city should handle future collection services.


After the meeting, the city council will meet at 7 p.m. It could select a garbage and recycling contractor at that time.



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