October 26, 2005

Moline council mandates automated trash collection

Dispatch Argus photo by Dan Videtich

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.)
e-mail: adominguez@moline.il.us

Alderman, Ward Two
Michael Carton

359 29th Avenue, Moline, IL 61265
Phone: (309) 912-3552
e-mail: mcarton@moline.il.us
AOL Instant Messenger: MichaelTCarton
Web Site address:

Alderman, Ward Three
J. Scott Raes

1813 - 27th Avenue Place, Moline, IL 61265
Phone: (309) 762-6103
e-mail: sraes@moline.il.us

Alderman, Ward Four
Dick A. Potter

1136 25th Street, Moline, IL 61265
Phone: (309) 764-7213
e-mail: dpotter@moline.il.us

Alderman, Ward Five
Bill Adams

2937 16th Avenue, Moline, IL 61265
Phone: (309) 762-1811
e-mail: badams@moline.il.us

Alderman, Ward Six
Michael Crotty

1141 - 48th Street, Moline, IL 61265
Phone: (563) 529-1916
(309) 755-1101 ext. 223 (work)
e-mail: mcrotty@moline.il.us

Alderman, Ward Seven
Dorothy Armstrong

4603 - 50th Street, Moline, IL 61265
Phone: (309) 762-0256
email: darmstrong@moline.il.us

Alderman, At Large
Kent Breecher

1516 45th Street
Moline, IL 61265
Phone: (309) 762-1062
e-mail: kbreecher@moline.il.us


At 10/26/2005 4:54 AM, Blogger Dave Barrett said...

My wife tried to talk to our alderman about this issue Tuesday afternoon before the council meeting. She could not get ahold of our aldmerman but did get to speak to alderman at large, Kent Breecher. She expressed concern about the loss of jobs. Mr. Breecher told her not to worry about anyone losing their job since the union contract mandated the number of city employees. The unneeded garbage pick-up people will be transferred to other jobs in the city, he reassured her. No one will lose their job.
If that is the case then where will the savings come from? We will save enough from reduced compensation claims to pay for all those garbage bins?

At 10/26/2005 6:35 AM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

As a lifelong Moline resident, I can say for a fact that the auto pick up has been tried in Moline. I experienced the experiment in the early 1980s when we all were given "Herbie Curbie" containers free for a few months to automate the trash pick up. Then we were supposed to pay for them after the "trial", all to save the City money. Well since it cost money to keep them after the free trial, I asked the City to take ours back and go to the old way which was an option with that plan.

The idea did nothing to save Moline any money or make the pick ups any better. Those herbie curbies blew into the streets and were run over.

I am still not sure how the Council and the Mayor expect senior citizens to haul 96 or 48 gallon containers to the curb. This whole plan is a big boondoggle that the citizens will be angry about for years or until they go back to the old way of hauling if they can...

With City hall packed against the trash pick issue - the Mayor votes it into action. Yet with City hall packed about Leaf burning, they bend with the will and power of the protests and don't vote in the ban.

The Mayor is weak and ineffective if he could not get his Council to look at this logically. We needed Pat O'Brien in there to help get the group to talk about the common sense solutions.

The new Mayor hasn't a clue....and we are all going to pay for his stupidity with higher taxes!

At 10/26/2005 6:53 AM, Blogger flowerpot said...

I am deeply disappointed in this Mayor and Council. They can see the citizens do not want this service changed and still they do not listen to the people.

Well I have news for the new Mayor Wevert - he can be fired very soon..... this will not be forgotten. Why did he not comment about his vote?? Did he sneak out of City hall after it was over? The mayor made this happen to us!

What is next, higher taxes? Most of my friends didn't want a new library. So now we get a new library we don't want, and our trash services are now messed up? That's ridiculous. We all voted for Pat O'Brien for mayor, and were afraid of what this Welart guy would be like. Just as we thought - Welaret is spineless and he is no leader.

Mayor, we won't forget your vote ever!! I guess common sense went out the door with Pat O'Brien's defeat. Pat was the all we had in City hall to represent the people. We need Pat back downtown. Can we trade Bill Adams for Pat O'Brien? Can we impeach Welvert and make Pat O'Brien Mayor?

At 10/26/2005 10:10 AM, Blogger Fly-on-the-wall said...


Thanks for the great write-up. Since we're facing this decision soon in Davenport, I'm pointing the DDP folks over here to see what's already happening in Moline.

At 10/26/2005 2:29 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Thanks Fly... and welcome DDP readers!

I'll try to find out how the council members voted when I get a chance. In the meantime, if anyone has heard, please post it here.

At 10/26/2005 2:47 PM, Blogger moline83 said...

copied & pasted from qconline........
"Alds. Dick Potter, 4th Ward; Bill Adams, 5th Ward; Mike Crotty 6th Ward; and Dorothy Armstrong, 7th Ward, voted for automated collection.

Alds. Arcilia Dominguez, 1st Ward; Michael Carton, 2nd Ward; Scott Raes, 3rd Ward; and Kent Breecher, At-Large, voted against automated collection. "

At 10/26/2005 5:38 PM, Blogger moline83 said...

I expected Adams, Crotty & Welvert to vote that way but never thought Armstrong and Potter would vote against the people of Moline. Very disappointed with those two.

At 10/26/2005 6:48 PM, Blogger youngdem503 said...

This is another example of the destructive agenda of the Republican Party. The Democratic Party needs to get serious about Moline, first we need to recognize what went wrong with the mayor race, second we need to get rid of Adams and Raes in the next election cycle(even though he voted against it). Also we need to get our current Dems on the council on board make sure they remember they represent the people.

At 10/26/2005 8:12 PM, Blogger indy said...

This is exactly why the new library should have been put on a referendum. Let the voters decide. At 14 million dollars down the crapper I can garuntee that services like garbage pick-up will suffer.
Lets also not forget that this council and new Mayor also spent close to $500,000 to purchase and give Mel Foster an exclusive deal for the Case Creek Development.
I don't live in Moline anymore, but it must be a wealthy city to afford such expenses!

At 10/27/2005 3:34 PM, Blogger theheadusher said...


Do you and maybesomeday live in different cities together, or what?

Anyone that thinks building a library to educate children about the value of books is akin to throwing money 'down the crapper," is well, backwards.

Please do us all a favor and move back to Indy?

By the way flowerpot, isn't Pat O'Brien's old labor union helping to building the the $14,000,000 construction project? If these workers ddidn't have anything to build, I wonder if former Alderman O'Brien would get his retirement check?

Please advise!

At 10/28/2005 9:40 AM, Blogger indy said...

Jacobs do you have some kind of 'MANCRUSH" on Pat O'Brien? You seem to be obssesed by him.
I worked for him on his Mayoral campaign and his boat doesn't row that way if you know what I mean!

At 10/29/2005 8:04 AM, Blogger theheadusher said...

Fact is Mike and Denny Jacobs funnled thousands and thousands of dollars into Pat's failed campaign. I thought they were crazy at the time, and I still do!

And as I have stated many times now, I am not the Senator, only his unoffical blog spokesperson!

At 10/29/2005 10:49 AM, Blogger illinoisone said...

Thats something you probably would not know unless you were Mike Jacobs! Dummy!
So you have a MANCRUSH! Not that there's anything wrong with that!
As a women that graduated highschool with Pat I wouldn't kick him out. Get the picture?!


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