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Change in garbage collection possible in Evansville

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Gina Duwe
July 29, 2013

EVANSVILLE--An automated garbage and recycling collection system with new bins similar to Janesville's might be in Evansville's future.

Evansville's contract with Advanced Disposal expires at year's end, and city leaders are seeking bids to continue the current bag system or switch to carts, City Administrator Dan Wietecha said. 

The public works committee last week set an Aug. 16 deadline for proposals from area vendors, which can bid on one or both options.

“At some point, I think carts are inevitable,” Wietecha said, but they might not come as soon as next year.

Standard carts allow garbage trucks to do the heavy lifting with mechanical arms.

A possible switch depends on responses from vendors, Wietecha said. The city would likely make a decision in September or no later than October because lead-time would be needed to switch equipment, he said.

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

The charge more than covers the city's $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.

If the city switched to automated pick-up with carts, the cost of buying the carts likely would be added to the household fee, he said.

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, with a few small businesses and churches mixed in.

The company is interested in staying in Evansville, Wietecha said.

“They've indicated their preference to see us switch to carts. It's a more efficient system for them,” he said.

But, Wietecha said, the company also said it is willing to stick with a bag system “if that's what we prefer.”

Officials will weigh that information against proposals from other vendors, he said.

“The fact that they're familiar with us and we've been really happy with their service is a lot in their favor when we review their proposals,” he said.

If a big change is considered, officials will want more input from residents, he said. The issue is probably under the radar for most residents, but the request for proposals includes how a company would conduct public outreach and education.



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