By Jeff Odom
Voices of concern and support came forward at a town hall meeting Dec. 4 to discuss the future of garbage collection in Hillsborough County.
The county unveiled four plans at the Jimmy B. Keel Library that are being considered to replace the current contract, which expires Sept. 30, 2013.
According to the county, six solid waste management companies will bid on the proposals to cover the five garbage collection zones around Hillsborough, with 50,000 households per zone. Each company was asked to come up with the four plans for area residents to help choose. They are as follows:
—Service option No. 1: Same as current manual service. Household garbage collected twice a week in customer provided containers. Customers are provided separate recycling bins for once-a-week collection and yard waste to be collected once a week as well. Cost*: $100.35 per year.
—Service option No. 2: Household garbage collected twice a week in county-provided containers with wheels, but as an automated service. The county will also continue to supply recycling bins for once-a-week pickup. Customers with yard waste will still have to provide their own containers. Cost*: $111.65.
—Service option No. 3: Household garbage collected once a week in county-provided containers with wheels, also an automated service. The rest is same as option No. 2. Cost*: $104.21.
—Service option No. 4: Same as No. 3 with the exception of the recycling collection schedule, which would be pushed back to every other week. The county would, in turn, provide a much larger recycling bin to residents. Cost*: $97.77.
The options only affect unincorporated Hillsborough, with includes Lutz and Odessa, but not New Tampa.
The sizes of county-provided bins that customers can choose are 95-, 65- or 35-gallons.
Most who spoke at the meeting seemed content with the current plan, which is service option No. 1, and voiced concerns about having trouble hauling larger trash cans, damaged or stolen bins and job loss that could come with going the automated route.
County resident David Lubin told the capacity crowd he enjoys the current service, especially the yard waste pickup. Under an automated plan, yard waste would be limited to just two cubic yards, which didn’t sit well with him.
“I have a rather large yard, and I live on a corner block, and I have five large crepe myrtles that shed leaves and all the leaves come down to my end,” Lubin said. “During the last fall I had 15 to 20 large garbage bags full. That’s way more than two cubic yards. These (sanitation workers) pick it all up, and they wave hello as they round the corner. … I have no problem whatsoever.”
The county said if residents accepted a new plan, their provided bins will be under warranty for 10 years. If the bins become damaged, the county will send a worker to fix them for free. However, in the event of a lost or stolen can, the customers would have to pay themselves for a new one.
Carrollwood residents Phyllis and Lewis Alpert moved from Miami-Dade County six months ago where automatic pickup has been implemented. Both said their experience with the system was without problems.
“We had (automated pickup) for many years, and it worked very well,” Phyllis said. “The garbage cans were on wheels, so it was easier to move and they’re very sturdy. They don’t break.”
Lewis added that uniform bins will make the community look nice, and with closed containers for recycling he thinks it will save customers the headache of dealing with wet papers and other goods during rain.
“The downside to today is that you have all sorts of containers out there, and it really makes a nice area look like a mess and it brings down the look in the area,” Lewis said. “If it rains and you already have 20 pounds of newspapers in there, all the sudden you have 40 pounds. It just makes all the sense in the world to have it coordinated.”
For more information and to comment on the service options, visit www.HillsboroughCounty.org/talktrash or call (813) 704-0181.
*Per household per year
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.