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Council OKs Updated Rules on Trash Pickup

March 13, 1997|ENRIQUE LAVIN

After three months of tossing out and recycling old ideas over how to best pick up the trash, the City Council this week passed a revised ordinance aimed at meeting both state refuse standards and residents' needs.

Meanwhile, the contract with the city's main trash hauler is still on hold as the city attorney fine-tunes the agreement, which provides for a 50-cent monthly fee increase.

The most significant change to the ordinance is a requirement for residents to remove refuse containers from the curbside at the end of collection day.

A warning will be given for the first infraction. A $20 fine will be levied the second time. Chronic offenders will be fined up to $40 each time they fail to comply with the new rule within a year.

The rest of the changes are to make the ordinance consistent with the contract with the city's main trash hauler, Briggeman Disposal Co.

City officials are revising the contract to make the service consistent with state law, which requires cities to recycle 50% of refuse by 2000. The city now recycles more than 25% of its trash.

The modernized collection system replaces 30-gallon barrels with uniform containers that hold up to 95 gallons. The containers on wheels are lifted by trash trucks rather than by refuse workers. The only area of the city not complying with the program is the city's Old Town, where many residents and business owners have rejected the change, saying the larger containers would be too difficult to manage along their narrow alleys.

To compromise, Briggeman agreed to provide recycling pickup weekly and to allow residents to keep their old bins if they want.

The contract returns to the City Council for approval on March 24.

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