City garbage, recycling and yard waste

Guest Column
Doug Herman
Monticello City Administrator

     The Monticello City Council has been discussing and considering best practices related to the collection of garbage, recycling, and yard waste in Monticello off and on for many years.

     In 2007, the Council gave serious consideration to contracting the collection of waste versus buying a new truck. The Council purchased a new truck and continued to collect solid waste. In December 2015, the City Council contracted with Republic to collect dumpsters, not including recycling dumpsters.

     The city code requires all refuse dumpsters to be collected by Republic under the city contract. Having one hauler significantly reduces the number of haulers travelling up and down our streets on a daily basis.

     Due to a recent Public Works staff resignation and the need for a new garbage truck, the Council has again explored whether or not the city should continue to collect residential solid waste. The Council recently concluded that the city should contract the collection of curbside solid waste.

     With regard to recycling, the Council learned that we would be seeing significant increases in recycling collection fees due to major changes in the recycling market. After a review of proposals, the Council determined it appropriate to contract with Republic to collect both curbside garbage and recycling.

     What does this mean for you? The first major change will be your receipt of 65 gallon wheeled carts from Republic, one for recycling and one for refuse. These carts are provided to you as part of the service and are built into the monthly fee, which will continue to be invoiced by the city. The city strongly promotes the use of carts and believes that most, if not all, users will find the carts to be very beneficial. The recycling cart, in particular, should reduce the amount of recycling waste blowing around town on windy recycling days. However, extra recycling, or large recycling items like large pieces of cardboard, may be broken down and placed next to the recycling cart for collection. You may begin to use the Republic recycling cart as soon as you receive it.

     Another significant change will be the elimination of “city” garbage bags. You will no longer be required to use “city” bags for any purpose once Republic commences collection of solid waste, which will occur during the week of July 8. Prior to that date you should continue to use city bags even though you may receive your Republic container prior to that date. Unopened packages of city bags, containing five bags, may be returned to City Hall for a refund from July 16-31.

     Another benefit of our agreement with Republic is that all users will be allowed to place one bulky item out per month next to their cart. City Hall should be notified in advance if you plan to put a bulky item out for collection. In the event you have more garbage than can be contained in your cart you may place bags next to it but will be required to place a sticker on the bag. Stickers may be purchased at City Hall for $2.

     Electronics, appliances and yard waste will continue to be collected by the city. The city is exploring the acquisition of a yard waste site where residents may deliver yard waste, grass clippings, and branches for composting and chipping, creating a product that will be available for use by residents. The city would likely continue to participate in the collection of yard waste on an as-needed and scheduled basis.

     One final change will be the curbside garbage collection dates. At present, garbage is collected on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. When Republic starts, garbage will be collected on Wednesday and Friday. Recycling will continue to be collected every other week on Thursday. More information will follow on new weekly collection dates, which will commence with the week of July 8.

     Many of you have recently received a dumpster provided by Republic, replacing your privately owned dumpster. It has been determined that many of the old dumpsters were being invoiced as a 2-yard dumpsters even though they were in fact 2.5- or 3-yard dumpsters. If you determine that you need extra capacity you will either need to increase the number of collections per month or increase the size of your dumpster.

     Changes such as this will always have some bumps and create questions and in some cases objections. The Council has sought out and received a lot of feedback during this process. From what I have been told the feedback towards the carts and the elimination of city bags has been very positive.

     Concerns were raised that the city may lay off staff, which is not the case.

     What about cost? Depending upon the amount of garbage you create you will either experience a cost savings or a slight cost increase. It is important to recognize however, that the increase would be greater if the city did not contract for this service, as we would be filling an empty staff position and buying a new garbage truck.

     Please call City Hall with any and all questions (319-465-6435).



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