(Posted Aug. 21, 2019)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
West Jefferson village council approved new rates for trash and recycling collection through 2024.
Residents currently pay $16.90 per month for the service. The rates will go up by a small amount each year for the next five years. The new monthly rates are:
The rate changes come on the heels of the village’s new five-year contract with Waste Management of Ohio. The company has provided collection services to West Jefferson for 15 years and is switching from a manual collection system to an automated system. As a result, the cost to the village has gone up.
To lessen the burden on residents, the village is subsidizing some of the cost with money from the sanitation fund. Without the subsidy, residents would be paying $19.50 per month starting in 2020, according to John Mitchell, West Jefferson’s public service director. He noted that the village hasn’t raised trash and recycling collection rates in six years.
With the switch to automated collection, Waste Management will issue a 96-gallon, wheeled trash cart to each residence. New automated sideloader trucks, operated by a single crewman from inside the truck, will pick up the trash carts from the curb using a mechanical arm with a claw.
Residents will no longer be permitted to use their own trash cans. The new trash carts will be identical to the recycling carts already in use in the village.
Residents who are elderly or disabled will have the option to request a 64-gallon cart. Residents who need more than one cart for trash can rent additional carts for $5 each per month.
With the new contract, recycling services stay the same. Bulk pick-up remains unlimited but changes from weekly to monthly.
Village council voted unanimously at its Aug. 19 meeting to approve the new trash and recycling collection rates. The automated collection system will go into effect early next year.
In other business, council approved a donation of $1,500 to West Jefferson Youth Inc., the organization that runs youth athletic programs in the community. The money will be used to cover participation fees for children who cannot afford them.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, resident Sally Boales asked village leaders to consider solutions for children who cannot afford admission to the village swimming pool. She said she’s seen children jump off the railing on U.S. Route 40 into Darby Creek. She’s also experienced children panhandling for money to pay for admission to the pool. As a part-time employee at Hurt-Battelle Memorial Library, she said she sees children spend hours at the library playing video games. She wants to see children outside exercising and having fun; in the summer, the pool is an opportunity to do that.
The next West Jefferson village council meeting will take place at 7 p.m. Sept. 3, one day later than usual due to the Labor Day holiday.