City staff and council have been receiving feedback about the proposed Sanipac yard debris pick-up service, a result of a mailed survey regarding potentially implementing a yard debris service in town by the waste service.
There are three options available: Tack on additional cost to every residential customers’ trash bill, create a subscription-based service or forgo the debris pick up option entirely.
The insights from that survey will likely be shared at the January city council work session, Amberg said.
But there is some resistance.
Evelyn Walter called city staff to relay that she is ”adamantly against both models presented,” Finance Director Jim Piper relayed in an email to the city administrator.
Piper mentioned that Walter is a member of a homeowner association, and she already pays dues to maintain her property. Further, Walter said she already experienced a sewer rate increase and is expecting another sewer rate increase in the new year from Emerald Valley Wastewater.
Martin and Sharlene Neff wrote to Council President Richard Zettervall, stating, ”We do not want additional expense of a yard debris cart and do not want to help anyone else pay for the service. We also do not want to give space to a cart on our property and have indicated so,” on the Sanipac survey.
They went on to say they were active in the hearings to defeat this idea several years ago.
The aforementioned survey was first mailed to Creswell residents in 2012, and a similar one was sent out in November.
Th Sanipac survey asks questions such as: Have you put bags of yard debris outside your cart for collection in the last year? What do you currently do with your yard debris? And if yard debris were implemented would you prefer the mandatory built-in rate or subscription option?
City Manager Michelle Amberg related to council Monday night that of the 1,400 surveys sent out, about 400 to 500 have been received back to Sanipac. The decision will ultimately be made at an upcoming city council meeting, once the survey period ends and input has been collected for council to examine, said Aaron Donley, accounts manager for Sanipac.
In 2012, results from that survey yielded that 57 percent of Creswell residents said they would have a use for the yard debris program, while 36 percent said they would not. The remaining seven percent did not answer the question.
Sanipac did not implement the program in 2012, but are trying again for 2018.
As previously reported in The Chronicle, there are two options for implementing yard debris services. The first would be to build in the cost of the service to your trash bill and spread it across all residential customers.
If cost was built into the residential rates and included standard as part of the garbage service, it would cost an additional $3.85 per month for Creswell residents, whether the yard debris service is used or not. This is the method used in the City of Eugene, which was implemented in Eugene in 2001, and in Veneta in 2004.
A Sanipac rate comparison shows that Eugene pays $24.65 for a 35-gallon can for weekly trash service with yard debris cost built into their trash rate, while Veneta pays $21.79 for the same service. Creswell, with the proposed $3.85 yard debris cost built into the current trash rates, would pay $25.10.
Sanipac research shows that in the first year of the service in Veneta, Sanipac diverted 241 tons of yard debris from the landfill. More recently in Veneta, Sanipac has diverted 373 tons per year as this program’s participation increases.
The second option would provide a subscription-based service where each residential customer would decide individually whether they wanted yard debris collection.
If yard debris was provided with a subscription basis, with a 12-month commitment (or a $25 cancelation fee), it would cost customers $6.45 per month.
Springfield implemented its yard debris service in 2008, and Sweet Home implemented its in 2003. Springfield pays $5.97 and implemented its yard debris service in 2008.
Veneta residents pay $6.99 per month for yard debris services if they opt of out also having trash services, and Eugenians can opt to only use the yard debris service for $4.80, Donley said.
No yard debris services are currently being offered to Cottage Grove, Lowell, Oakridge and Florence.
Using the current rates for trash service in Creswell, customers would see savings as they decrease the level of trash service as a result of adding the yard debris can city-wide for $3.85 a month, Donley said.
If implemented, the yard debris would be collected at the cub in a 65-gallon cart on an every-other week basis, alternating between recycle car pick-ups.
For size comparison, the recycle cart is 95 gallons in size. Due to weight issues with yard debris, it is collected in slightly smaller 65 gallon cans.
The Sanipac letter also states that curbside yard debris collection help reduce the amount of yard waste burning in our area, preventing potential future wildfires.
If council were to give the proposal a thumbs up, the new service would likely be implemented in April 2019.
That survey can be found online at sanipac.com/yarddebrissurvey.