Garbage carts part of city’s new contract

by Emmitt B. Feldner
of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – City residents will be putting their garbage out in wheeled carts starting this fall, like most of their neighbors in the county.

The City Council Tuesday approved a new 10-year contract with Advanced Disposal for residential garbage collection that will include a switch to the carts, which will be supplied free of charge by Advanced Disposal.

“The biggest reason is the safety of our employees,” Michael Thun, Sheboygan site manager for Advanced Disposal, told the council.

But he also added that the switch to the cart system will make garbage collection cleaner and quicker.

The change will enable Advanced to collect all of the city’s residential garbage in one day, instead of the current four days with manual collection, City Administrator Brian Yerges explained.

“Instead of us coming in here and you have garbage around for four days a week, we can come in one day, clean it all up and move on to the next city,” Thun stated.

Each household in the city will be supplied with two wheeled plastic garbage carts, one for garbage and one for recyclables, under the new system.

The standard cart size will be 65 gallons, but 32 and 95 gallon sizes will also be available.

Residents will be able to opt for one or both carts in the alternate sizes at no charge during the initial signup period, Thun said. If residents decide to switch to a different size cart after the initial selection, there would be an initial charge of probably $35, he added.

Yerges emphasized that Advanced Disposal would have the responsibility to maintain the carts, not residents, and would supply replacement carts if necessary at no charge.

“They’re looking to roll the carts out before the end of the year,” Yerges said.

Thun said Advanced Disposal will send out letters to all city residents in the next week or so explaining the new garbage cart system.

A followup letter will specify which day of the week will be set for garbage collection in the city of Plymouth, Thun added. That will depend on coordinating collection dates with other municipalities in which Advanced Disposal collects garbage.

The goal is to have the new carts in place by Oct. 1, Thun said.

“We’d like to get people used to them during the month of October, then around the first of November go to one day a week collection,” Thun continued.

In answer to a question from Alderman Jack Fernsler, Thun said the company’s trucks have a 12- foot claw to pick up the carts, so there should be no concern about the carts being covered or out of reach from plowing after snow storms.

He added that truck drivers usually carry equipment to make minor repairs on carts when necessary and will notify the company immediately of any carts that need replacing.

“The only scenario where we’ve ever charged a resident (for a replacement cart) is when they put (hot) ashes in the cart and it burned to the ground,” Thun noted.

Under the contract, the perhousehold charge will increase in 2017 from the current $9.04 to $10.45, Yerges said. But that rate will be fixed for the first three years of the contract, then will increase by 2.5 percent a year for the remainder of the 10-year contract.

The city had been slated for an increase to $9.47 per household in 2017 under the current contract, which expires at the end of 2017.

“Please note that if we let the current contract expire at the end of 2017, Advanced Disposal will still only offer a contract with the new cart system in the future,” Yerges wrote in a memo to the council on the proposed contract. “However, their proposal may be different than what is being presented at this time.”

Yerges said the increased fee will be budgeted for and there will be no increase in the per-home garbage fee currently on the city’s property tax bills.

The council approved an economic development electric usage rage for Plymouth Utilities.

Yerges explained that the market pricing tariff would be offered to new or existing customers with a demand of at least 500 kilowatts of electricity.

The incentive would be for four years, he added. It is similar to a program approved by the Public Service Commission for the New London Utilities and being applied for by six of the 51 public utilities in WPPI.

“Investor owned utilities in Wisconsin currently have economic development rate tariffs in place,” Yerges pointed out.

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