By Kevin Kelley
This week is the last week in which trash placed in old-style, round containers will be collected.
Next week, Republic Services, the city’s trash contractor, will only collect trash placed in the standard, automated bins it delivered to residents in recent weeks.
Under automated pickup, all residents use similarly designed trash and recycling bins, the contents of which can be mechanically dumped into a garbage truck operated by a single worker.
Jim Kennedy, the city’s service director, told West Life that the transition is by and large going smoothly.
“They’re at the end of the process of distributing the containers,” Kennedy said.
Despite numerous articles in local newspapers, two mailings from City Hall and two public meetings informing residents of the change, some residents called the city asking what the new trash bins delivered to their homes were for, Kennedy said.
Despite these calls, Kennedy said many residents are looking forward to the switch.
“The overwhelming majority of the people have been very accepting of it,” he said.
Dave Kidder, a municipal services manager at Republic Services who is overseeing Fairview Park’s transition, said he is very pleased with the response of the city’s 6,000 households to automated collection.
“We’re really getting very few calls except for the very simple ones, like, ‘Can I switch out for a different size (container)?’” Kidder told West Life.
Most homeowners received both a 65-gallon green recycling container and a 95-gallon blue trash container; seniors and others who made a special request received two 65-gallon containers.
Those wishing a cart larger or smaller than the one delivered can call Republic at 800-433-1309.
Residents who wish to dispose of their old rubbish cans should place them, with the word “take” written on them, out with their rubbish on collection day. This will indicate to trash collectors that Republic should dispose of them. Those who wish keep them for yard waste collection should mark them with the words “yard waste” so that materials can be collected.
Earlier this year, Fairview Park City Council unanimously approved a new five-year contract with Republic for automated trash collection. Both parties have options to extend the contract an additional five years on a year-to-year basis.
City officials expect to save an estimated $33,671 in the first year of the new contract. The savings will be $184,000 if the salaries of two Service Department employees, who will move from trash collection to other duties, is not counted.
Part of the savings is based on the assumption that, because they won’t have to sort recyclable materials, residents will recycle more. That means less trash going into a landfill and therefore lower landfill costs.