New London residents to pay one-time fee in 2016
By John Faucher
At its Oct. 13 meeting, the New London City Council approved purchasing recycling carts for every residence.
The carts, which were discussed earlier this year by the Public Works Committee, would be delivered by late spring 2016.
A $51.88 one-time fee for the purchase of the carts will be added to the resident’s 2016 tax bills.
The committee recommended moving forward with the purchase of the carts at its Oct. 5 meeting, following its review of information compiled by Public Works Director Jeff Bodoh.
Bodoh received three proposals for two sizes of carts, 64- and 96-gallon carts.
Quotes were received from Toter, in Statesville, North Carolina, Cascade Engineering in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Rehrig Pacific Co. in Pleasant Prairie.
Prices were similar and each product was available at the committee meeting for members to compare design and durability.
Committee members liked the rugged design of the Toter cart. Committee Chair Mike Barrington felt that residents should have an option to select a smaller 64-gallon cart if they did not like the 96-gallon.
Most surrounding communities use the 96-gallon carts, but give residents the option to trade them in for 64-gallon carts after a three-month trial.
Bodoh said some municipalities charge residents a one-time fee for the carts, or they add a fee to their monthly utility bill to pay for the purchase of the carts.
Seymour and Little Chute did not bill residents for their carts.
Each municipality also handled the delivery of the carts differently. The Town of Greenville paid its public works employees overtime hours to deliver the carts to residents after hours on weeknights and weekends.
Bodoh recommended New London wait until late spring or early summer when summer interns were working and could deliver the carts.
Mayor Gary Henke said he would prefer a one-time fee be added to the tax bill, rather than trying to administer and collect a monthly fee. Bodoh agreed.
Barrington said, “My question is do we really need them?”
Alderperson John Romberg said, “Outagamie County Recycling needs them.”
Romberg reminded committee members that Outagamie County Recycling and Solid Waste picks up the city’s recycling free of charge. “Remember, they don’t charge us for the half of the city that is in Waupaca County,” said Romberg.
“Regardless, we need to make a decision and move on, so we can let everybody know,” said Henke. “We’ve talked about this for months.”
Representatives from Outagamie County visited the committee earlier this summer to discuss the advantages of single stream recycling carts.
Advantages of single stream recycling carts
Christine Miller, recycling coordinator for Outagamie County said that residential satisfaction is higher with carts, and residents are more likely to participate when carts are delivered to every home.
“As residents recycle more, the increased revenue helps support the recycling collection program and other popular programs such as hazardous waste collection and free tire week,” said Miller.
She said residents find carts easier to use once they try them out.
“Carts are easier to push to the curb than carry bins,” she said. “Residents also find themselves making one trip to the curb instead of several.”
A sanitation worker who works for the county spoke to committee members earlier this summer, said the carts efficiently empty into trucks and help prevent injuries.
Miller agreed, “Automated collection greatly reduces physical injuries and accidents for sanitation workers.”
Miller said that carts are designed not to tip over, and result in a cleaner community.
“Closed lids keep debris from blowing and results in less material on the roads of your community,” said Miller.
“When travelers and local visitors see “all” households participating, it shows that your residents take pride in their community,” she added.
The Public Works Committee voted in favor of purchasing the single stream carts with a 5-0 vote to recommend passage by council.
At Tuesday’s council meeting, Alderperson Tom O’Connell asked if the there had to be a public hearing to place the one-time fee on the tax roll.
Henke and Romberg said that there would be a public hearing as part of the 2016 budget process later this fall.
The council approved purchasing the carts 8-2, with O’Connell and Mary Tate voting no.
Outagamie County Recycling and Solid Waste Director Brian Van Straten said, “Outagamie County is very proud of New London’s commitment to make recycling easier for its residents.”
“It really sets an amazing example of what environmental stewardship and community pride should look like through increased recycling participation and uniform recycling cart program,” said Van Straten.