City soon may haul its own yard waste

Sunday Times Newspapers

WYANDOTTE — City officials are looking into municipal pickup and disposal of residents’ yard waste.

That waste currently is handled by Waste Management at a cost of $72 per resident per year, but officials say handling it internally —which is allowed under the city’s contract with the company — would cost $46 for each of the 550 subscribers.

Without a change in service, the price is set to rise under the current seven-year contract, by about $2 a year per subscriber. Prices for 2017 are listed at $85.97 per consumer.

Subscribers pay fees for each year of service.

The change was discussed at the Feb. 14 City Council meeting after City Engineer Mark Kowalewski presented a letter to members outlining the possible savings.

The current weekly service runs from April through December each year. If the city’s Department of Public Services handles the yard waste, it could be picked up on the same day as trash is collected.

Mayor Joseph Peterson said the change could have other added benefits.

“The city will get a cheaper rate, and it’s recycling, so it’s a big plus,” he said. “Hopefully, it will encourage (residents) to recycle more.”

Councilor Todd Browning also pointed out that using the DPS to handle the waste collection would save each resident enough money to rent a 96-gallon waste toter from the city for $48 for approximately the price of the service provided by Waste Management. The toters are not required for the program, but subscribers must use mesh bags or other approved containers.

The issue will be referred to the city’s Department of Financial and Administrative Services so that it can draft a budget amendment for council approval.

Waste Management began serving as the city’s trash collector this year after rising prices and falling subscription bases contributed to officials’ decision to switch from Republic Services Inc., which had handled its waste since 2005.