SIDNEY — Is it time for a “Pay as You Throw” program for the residents of the city of Sidney?
That’s what members of Sidney City Council will determine between now and when the city’s solid waste collection (garbage) contract expires in May 2015.
Gary Clough, assistant city manager/public works director, told members of council Monday during its workshop that city is working on documents for the new bid, which will be advertised in November.
“The last bid included bids for service that we receive now and also included an alternate for automated pickup with matching 95 gallon containers for each resident,” said Clough. “It is our intent to bid similar options this year. In addition, we are considering an alternate that would be cost dependent on the amount of garbage a resident actually puts out in designated bags which are typically purchased through local stores.”
The idea behind “pay as you throw,” he said, is a financial incentive for each resident “to reduce the amount of trash they generate, reuse as much as possible or recycle as much as possible.”
Wayne Long, director of sales, for WasteZero, which is located in South Carolina, discussed how their recycling program could be implemented in Sidney.
Long said the company was started in 1991 and they have assisted hundreds of cities and towns across the United States reduce their waste. The company provides core services and supplies needed to run the program.
The “Pay as You Throw” program, said Long, will allow the residents to pay by the bag for their trash and to recycle more items. The city would also have the option of reducing the monthly solid waste collection fee residents currently paid. He said within 90 days of implementing the program, the amount of trash collected reduced by 44 percent and recycling increases 75 to 100 percent.
Projected benefits and savings for Sidney, he said, would mean less trash which means the tipping fee paid to the garbage company would be reduced. He estimated the savings on tipping fees could be $144,000 per year. The city would receive revenue from the collection bags sold to residents. The bags would be sold in area stores. The cost of each bag would have to be determined by council if the program is put into place. Possible net program impact could be $773,000 per year.
Long fielded questions from council dealing with various aspects of the program. No decision was made about whether this will be included on the upcoming bid solid waste contract. More discussion will be held at a later date.
Council also discussed water and sewer connections outside the city limits. Two locations on Riverside Drive are interested in connecting to city water and sewer. Council decided to allow property owners connect to city water and sewer without annexing to the city.
Councilman Chuck Craynon discussed the use of golf carts on city streets. He said a 10-year-old child was driving a golf cart on Broadway and Parkwood and was stopped by a law enforcement officer. He said the only legal requirement for a golf cart is it must have a slow-moving sign on it. There is no age limit for the driver.
“Something needs to be done,” said Craynon. “This 10-year-old ran a stop sign.”
Mayor Mike Barhorst said he has also seen people driving riding lawn mowers and motorized wheelchairs on the city streets.
Law Director Jeff Amick was instructed to look into ordinances other cities have dealing with golf carts, lawn mowers and wheelchairs.