Moline council mandates automated trash collection
The Moline Council vote on automated garbage collection:
VOTING FOR: Alds. Dick POTTER, 4th Ward; Bill ADAMS, 5th Ward; Mike CROTTY 6th Ward; and Dorothy ARMSTRONG 7th Ward.
VOTING AGAINST: Alds. Arcilia Dominguez, 1st Ward; Michael Carton, 2nd Ward; Scott Raes, 3rd Ward; and Kent Breecher, At-Large
POTTER, ADAMS, CROTTY, and ARMSTRONG need to hear from you. (see contact info below)
The Moline City Council voted to institute automated trash collection at Tuesday night's council meeting, deciding to give residents less service at a higher cost.
The move will cost the city $720,000 to purchase specialized garbage cans, and will result in much poorer service and increased costs for residents, but supposedly could save the city $100,000 a year.
So let me see. It will take over 7 years just to recoup the cost of the trash containers, and this isn't even taking into account the cost of new automated trucks?
From yesterday's Dispatch article:
The city council is scheduled to vote on automated garbage collection tonight, a proposal that would cut services to residents but could save the city $100,000 a year.
To launch the program in late summer 2006, the city would need to spend $720,000 to buy 16,000 specialized garbage carts. The resolution calls for the carts to be bought with an eight-year loan out of capital improvement fund reserves at 3.5 percent interest.
Automated collection could cost residents more. Only one 48- or 96-gallon cart would be picked up each week per household. Anyone needing more than one cart would pay $45 a year and a $45 a year disposal fee.
Under the current system, residents can dispose of as much garbage as they want.
Right now, bulky waste pickup is free each week. That would change, allowing residents one free pickup a year. Each call thereafter would cost $25.
The potential savings to Moline comes from a combination of fewer needed workers, reduced worker compensation costs and less trash, said public works director Mike Waldron.
The city would need four less sanitation workers, as only a driver is needed to work each route.
Because the system is automated -- a large arm extends from the truck and picks up the cart -- the city expects fewer workers’ compensation claims. The sanitation department has the most claims in the city and in the past year has had the equivalent of two full-time workers on light duty or off work due to injury.
Mr. Waldron has said when automated systems are implemented, recycling increases. The city expects to save money by paying for less trash to be put into the landfill.
The city is scheduled to replace five rear-loading dump trucks next year. Mr. Waldron has said those could be replaced with five automated trucks, which cost about the same, so there would be no extra cost for equipment.
To sum up, for Moline residents:
BEFORE: Any size container.
NOW: Choice of ONE 48 gal. or ONE enormous 96 gal. trash cart.
BEFORE: Any amount of containers could be set out.
NOW: If you sometimes have more garbage than would fit in one 48 gal. container, you'd need to either lug a mammoth 96 gal container to the street and back and then store it somewhere during the week, or pay NINETY dollars a year for the priviledge of having a back-up 48 gal. container.
BEFORE: The elderly or those who don't generate much garbage could use a small container or simply set out a trash bag. If it was not in an exact spot, the garbage men would retrieve it.
NOW: It doesn't matter if you are only throwing out one banana peel, you have to lug at least a 48 gallon container to an exact spot on the street or alley and back again.
BEFORE: If you had problems with racoons getting into trash, you could get containers with locking lids.
NOW: If they are like other municipalities with automated pick-up, containers have flap lids which fall open once container is knocked over.
BEFORE: Residents can place garbage can anywhere convenient where garbage men can access it within several feet of curb.
NOW: Must lug cart to spot where truck can get within a couple feet of it. Container must not be anywhere near parked cars or other obstacles.
BEFORE: Garbage men did a good job of picking up cans and keeping spillage to a minimum.
NOW: Mechanical arms will grab can and shake it out. Anything spilled on the street will remain there as the truck lumbers off.
BEFORE: Garbage men would put cans back in the same spot or toss them up into yard.
NOW: If you have to put your huge cart out in the middle of the street to avoid parked cars, it will remain there until you can get to it, likely blowing over and blocking the street.
BEFORE: If you had large objects, you could put them out with your garbage any time.
NOW: Large items will only be picked up ONCE A YEAR and $25 a pop thereafter. It's not clear if this once a year pick-up is scheduled or they plan to somehow keep track of whether a resident has already had their one allowed large item pickup per year.
And worse yet, it will put an end to the decades long Dope family tradition of giving each of the garbage guys a nice little envelope with some cash in it and a bottle of good liquor around Christmas time each year. Somehow driving a truck around pulling a lever and never having to get wet or cold or deal with garbage just doesn't seem to inspire the same gratitude.
Next time you see the Mayor or your alderman, be sure to let them know how grateful you are that they got themselves into a giant financial hole and decided to implement this scheme. Or better yet, give 'em a call or send 'em an e-mail by clicking on the e-mail links below. One alderman even publishes his AOL Instant Messenger handle.
CLICK HERE if you'd like to see their mug shots and be able to find out a little about who you're dealing with.
If you're not sure who your alderman is, a ward map can be found HERE.
Alderman, Ward One
Arcilia 'RC' Dominguez
711 1/2 - 4th Avenue, Moline, IL 61265
Phone: (309) 757-1296
(309) 736-3646 (Floreciente Off.)
Alderman, Ward Two
359 29th Avenue, Moline, IL 61265
Phone: (309) 912-3552
AOL Instant Messenger: MichaelTCarton
Web Site address:
Alderman, Ward Three
J. Scott Raes
1813 - 27th Avenue Place, Moline, IL 61265
Phone: (309) 762-6103
Alderman, Ward Four
Dick A. Potter
1136 25th Street, Moline, IL 61265
Phone: (309) 764-7213
Alderman, Ward Five
2937 16th Avenue, Moline, IL 61265
Phone: (309) 762-1811
Alderman, Ward Six
1141 - 48th Street, Moline, IL 61265
Phone: (563) 529-1916
(309) 755-1101 ext. 223 (work)
Alderman, Ward Seven
4603 - 50th Street, Moline, IL 61265
Phone: (309) 762-0256
Alderman, At Large
1516 45th Street
Moline, IL 61265
Phone: (309) 762-1062