Councilman Says Residents Should Find Room for Trash Cans
Highland Heights council scheduled to vote tonight on new rubbish, recycling deal.
Some Highland Heights residents have complained that they don't have room in their garages for new trash and recycling containers. But Councilman Robert Mastrangelo said the city should act now while they can still get the containers for free.
The wheeled carts, a 96-gallon one for garbage and a 64-gallon one for recycling, would be included in a five-year contract with Kimble that would cost the city $2.75 million.
That's $40,000 more than if the city continued with the same level of service, whether or not city officials decide to accept the 96-gallon trash cans being offered by Kimble. But Mastrangelo said the extra expense now might actually save money in the long run.
"Next time around, that deal may not be there," he said regarding the carts, which he said cost $89 for the 96-gallon version and $73 for the 64-gallon one at Lowe's. "With everyone doing automatic pickup, you may be forced to have them next time."
He added that the city also could save on its next contract because going from 18-gallon bins to 64-gallon carts would encourage more recycling, reducing the amount of waste going to landfills. That would drive costs down on the next contract because bids would be based on a lesser tonnage of waste for disposal.
"If you're looking long-term and you want to reduce costs, that's the way to go," he said.
Mastrangelo said Beachwood started using 96-gallon trash cans five years ago and about 120 residents didn't want them. Within a month, 75 percent of those people changed their minds and wanted them back.
A second can for recycling was added last November and recycling increased by 50 percent in Beachwood, Mastrangelo said.
Now matter what contract the city chooses, trash collection will still be unlimited – residents could use the carts, bag their garbage or do both. The only difference would be if the recycling carts are added. Then only materials in those carts will be recycled. If residents put recycling materials in their current bins, that would be collected as trash.
Mastrangelo said once residents get used to the new containers they would realize their not that much bigger than trash cans they may be using.
"I've measured the ones I have," Mastrangelo said. "These are higher, but the footprint's not that much different."