Jul 23, 2012 11:19 PM by Maddie Garrett
Everyone has it and everyone pays to get rid of it -- your trash. But is Lafayette getting what it's paying for? Some council members think garbage pickup should change from once a week to twice a week, without raising rates.
"Once a week's fine with me," said Lafayette resident Bill Goode. "And if everybody would recycle, they'd never fill up their garbage can in the first place."
"I would like trash pick up to be twice a week, because we throw a lot of trash away," said another resident, Spencer Smith.
Smith said once a week is not enough, and doesn't like seeing overflow trash pile up on curbsides.
"It's an eyesore for the neighborhood and it looks a lot better if it'd be twice a week," said Smith.
A few years ago, trash pick up was twice a week at a rate of about $16 a month. But when the LCG Council renewed Allied Waste's five year contract they struck up a new deal at once a week for $20 a month. The increase came with some benefits, such as free 96 gallon containers with lids and automated trucks to pickup garbage.
But Councilman Brandon Shelvin thinks Lafayette can get a better deal and should go back to twice a week pickup.
"I'm not looking to make anybody's garbage rate go up, competition is good for business," said Shelvin.
Allied Waste's contract ends in September 2013 and Shelvin said Lafayette should put the waste service contract out to a bid.
"35,000 households can definitely attract other suitors and possibly get Allied Waste to sharpen their pencils and possibly get us two pickups a week," said Shelvin.
But over at Public Works, Director Tom Carroll said the current, once a week pickup, works great. He questions whether you can really get more for less.
"Going to twice a week service would make you believe that it's going to be more expensive. There again, I don't know until we actually take a bid," said Carroll.
Along the same lines, Shelvin also wants to change Lafayette's recycling program, saying those who don't recycle should not have to pay for it. Right now, all households pay $2.30 a month, but only about half of households recycle.
Shelvin said he would like an ordinance that would let people opt out of the service, "People should not be mandated to pay for something they're not receiving."
On the other hand, some see it as a service residents receive and are choosing not to take advantage of.
"Everyone can get a container and recycle," said Carroll.
Recycling Foundation's contract doesn't run out until 2016. But its parent company, IESI, is suing LCG after it was denied a permit for the Sunbeam waste transfer facility.