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Janesville City Council to keep talking trash

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MARCIA A. NELESEN
January 7, 2012
— The Janesville City Council on Monday will be asked to spend $3.15 million so the city can convert to automated collection of garbage and single-stream recycling.

The council normally would commit to the program when it approves the overall note issue later this year, but city staff is asking for a commitment now because lead time for trucks is five to six months, said John Whitcomb, operations director.


The city hopes to begin automated collection in October.


Staff is suggesting the city convert to automated collection this year because many of the trucks in its sanitation fleet are due for replacement now.


Automation—which features trucks with automatic arms that pick up and dump wheeled containers—likely will mean the city can eliminate one truck from its fleet and two employees, Whitcomb said.


However, the city will not save money by converting, as one would expect. Whitcomb said that’s because the city already is efficient with its one-person garbage trucks.


In addition, the cost of new equipment will negate any savings. The city also must buy wheeled carts for each residence, and those costs range from $55 to $58 each.


Many details still must be worked out, including the size and type of containers, Whitcomb said.


Under the existing garbage/recycling collection system, cost per household is $6.38 monthly. Staff estimates the cost of full automation with bi-weekly recycling will be $6.56 monthly.


The new system would allow for single-stream recycling, which means residents can put all recyclables—glass, plastics, cans and newspapers—in the same container. This form of recycling usually encourages more people to take part, with the amount generated going up about 20 to 25 percent, Whitcomb said.


The city receives revenue for those recyclables.


If you go

The Janesville City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Monday in City Hall, 18 N. Jackson St. Members will gather to meet informally with residents at 6 p.m.


Items on the agenda include:


-- A public hearing and action on an ordinance amending zoning to allow more flexibility in reusing historic residential structures.


-- Action on a potential spring primary for the city council. Nine candidates are running for four seats.


-- Action on a request to authorize a $25,000 claim to be paid to Colin Cabelka. Cabelka was injured during a May 2010 accident involving Cabelka, who was riding a bicycle, and a city garbage truck.



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