(Posted May 6, 2019)
By Andrew Garrett, Staff Writer
London city council is making a move toward eliminating the bags it sanctions for weekly trash pick-up.
On May 2, council held a first reading on legislation that calls for replacing the bags with large capacity cans. The measure will be up for a second reading at council’s next regular meeting on May 16.
The proposal calls for replacing the 33-gallon “London” trash bags and the red and green recycling bins with a single 96-gallon lidded trash can and a single 64-gallon recycling bin per residential customer.
Containers aren’t the only thing that would change if the proposal goes into effect. So would the rates, at an increase of $10 per month. Residents would see a jump from the current $7.80 per month for weekly home trash pick-up (if they are not charged for going over the imposed three-bag limit) to $17.80 per month. Also, for one year only, residents would be charged an additional $7.20 per month to finance the new cans. Residents would have the option to purchase additional cans for an extra $4.45 per can per month.
In part, the rate increase would help to raise revenue to maintain the city’s aging dump trucks. According to the city’s sanitation superintendent, Les Geyman, the city needs three new trucks. The ones currently in use are in bad shape and rusting out, he said.
Additionally, the rate increase would ensure that trash pick-up services stayed “in house” rather than outsourced to an outside entity.
It has been more than 14 years since the last increase for trash pick-up.
Several council members were displeased that no one from the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) was present to discuss the details of the proposed legislation, with Rex Castle being the first to make a comment on the matter.
“I’m disappointed that BPU didn’t see fit to come and be here to be able to answer questions,” he said. “I just find it very disconcerting that they didn’t think it was important enough to send one of their representatives.”