By Sue Botos
With a tight budget looming for the upcoming year, the city is initiating discussion on trash removal options. However, Mayor Pam Bobst promises that residents will be kept in the loop every step of the way.
“I understand that our trash collection is something our residents are really pleased with, but I have also received a lot of comments from residents wanting to increase our recycling efforts,” commented Bobst in a recent interview. She added that this would be a “very public process” and that city officials will work together with the people to find an economical and “green” solution.
Bobst said that she met with city service workers at the end of August for discussion. According to collective bargaining agreements, she said she is obligated to give the union 180 days’ notice if any other contracts for service are being explored.
“No one will lose their job,” Bobst stressed. She said the city is only evaluating other ways of picking up refuse and how these methods compare to those being used by other communities. The cost for a “packer” truck, which compacts trash, is about $350,000 each, according to Bobst, while the scooters which city workers drive to collect waste from homes and transport to the trucks run about $32,000.
Bobst added that a greater stress on recycling would be a money saver, as the city pays to have trash hauled to a landfill, but would receive credit for recycling efforts.
Rocky River is one of the few communities still providing its own refuse pickup, and residents may opt to keep the convenience, for a price, which would be determined. “We’re not going down any on path,” said Bobst, adding that “responsive” services, such as appliance pickup and leaf and brush collection, will remain in place no matter the outcome.
“We’re focusing on the weekly trash collection,” she stated.
Regardless of the outcome, Bobst promised, “No decision will be made until we have the information for the residents and they can provide feedback.”