After years of debate and discussion, dozens of public meetings, and a well-publicized pilot project, Jefferson City entered into a trash hauling agreement that the proponents of Proposition A want to, well, trash.
I was on the City Council at the time and voted for the contract after listening and talking to many of my constituents in the Fourth Ward.
Under that agreement, one day each week neighbors put out two bins and two trucks come down the street, picking up recycling and other trash. The result? More trash is being picked up. More is being recycled. Less is going into the landfill.
Before this new contract, I used the bags and many mornings I would find the bag torn open by animals during the night with trash scattered everywhere.
Now, for about what it used to cost for a bin instead of bags, I get not only a trash bin, but a recycling bin. No more overflowing, individually sorted recycling containers in my garage. No more trips to the recycling company, wasting time and gas. I just put everything into the recycling container, and it is picked up at the curb along with my normal trash.
What is the vision of the Prop. A proponents? That the current hauler will continue to provide the same service for the same price, incurring the same costs on each street - but with fewer customers. This does not work.
The contract price is based on the number of people served. Reduce the number served and the cost goes up. We are lucky to have the current price for trash service.
I just returned from visiting family in another city and they pay $100 every three months for required trash service.
In two years the community can review what was good about the contract and what components should be changed in a new contract. The transfer facilities should be in place to make a competing bid more likely, and increased flexibility more practical.
But until then, I will vote no both so that the City will keep the commitment it made and so that residents will be assured of regular curbside trash and recycling services.