PINEHURST — Representatives from Republic Services/Allied Waste met with the City of Pinehurst City Council over the course of the last two months to offer options to the current waste collection within the city.
Steve Carroll, municipal manager with Republic Services, spoke with the council in December asking for permission to propose options to the city.
The council could not discuss the options presented at the time due to the Texas Open Meeting Acts prohibit the council from discussing items not listed on the agenda.
One option mentioned is changing to a container system which could be picked up with an automated truck and collection days would be scheduled for once a week.
“The container is a 96 gallon tote,” Carroll said. “It will typically hold a weeks worth of trash produced by a single family.”
Carroll said he was asking the city to consider adopting the cart collection.
The current system requires a 3-man crew for collections and the cart system could use a 1-man crew with collections only being once a week.
“Typically, as a rule of thumb, the average family puts 60-70% of the trash out on the first day of pick up,” Carroll said.
Mayor Pro-Tem Dan Barclay said he was approached by citizens after the first presentation who told him they were happy with the service provided now.
“Would the company start immediately using the new truck,” Councilman Dan Mohon asked. “The city of Orange switched and the old tricks are still being used. Why should we switch if the new trucks are not going to be used?”
Mohon also said he was concerned about where the carts would be left in between pick-ups.
Mayor Pete Runnels said, “One benefit is it reduces the cost to the city, but based on what I have heard there is not much savings.”
“A reduction in service level means the citizens expect a larger reduction , like 50%,” Barclay said. “We always want less expensive and more service.”
Over the next three years, Pinehurst is schedule for significant increase in the price of service. This year the city is paying $12,000 with an increase to $12,500 in October 2013.
Republic Services/Allied Waste worked with the city and agreed to increase the rate over time because the city was not paying a fair rate comparable to service routes in the surrounding areas. The rate was implemented two years ago.
Carroll asked if the company could propose a year one to five proposal to help step the rate towards carted collection once a week.
“We do not want to push you,” Carroll said. “We will do want is asked and continue the same service if that is what the councils wants.”
The council agreed to see proposals of the options available but agreed there are no changes for the current collection system.
Dawn Burleigh is a reporter at The Orange Leader. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @DawnBurleigh