The Chronicle -

By Erin Tierney
The Creswell Chronicle 

Sanipac yard debris subscription gets OK

 

February 14, 2019

At Monday, Feb. 11's Creswell City Council meeting, a public hearing was held for the proposal to bring a Sanipac yard debris pick-up service to Creswell, in which no public opted to speak.

Aaron Donley, accounts manager for Sanipac, relayed that in the Spring of 2018 Sanipac approached the city council with a request for a rate increase.

During the conversation, council requested that Sanipac conduct a customer survey to ascertain whether there is a desire for a yard debris collection program in Creswell.

The council was interested in two scenarios - a mandatory program and subscription-based program.

Donley sent out mailers to 1,368 residential customers in Creswell.

"The overwhelming majority wanted a subscription over a mandatory subscription program," he said of the results.

The survey came back with a 39.11 rate of participation. Of those responses, 535 (66.54 percent) said they would prefer a subscription-based option, while 179 (33.46 percent) said they would prefer a mandatory subscription option.

Hearing the results, council unanimously voted to implement the subscription-based service, where each residential customer can decide individually whether they want yard debris collection.

Yard debris collection is a 12-month commitment of $6.45 per month, with a $25 cancelation fee. This subscription-based method is used in the City of Springfield.

Sanipac will provide subscribers a separate 65- gallon wheeled cart which will be picked up on the weeks opposite of the recycling cart pick-up.

For size comparison, recycle carts are 95 gallons. Due to weight issues with yard debris, it is collected in slightly smaller 65 gallon cans.

Council also authorized City Manager Michelle Amberg to execute all documents amending the current franchise agreement to establish the program.

Among the positive responses in the Sanipac survey results were:

• "This is the first place I've lived since the '80s where it wasn't available."

• "I used the service when I lived in Springfield and loved it. Good idea!"

• "Thank you Jesus! Please bring yard debris here!"

• "Just give us the service please...Right now it piles in our yard until I can afford to pay someone to haul it off, or put it little-by-little in the trash can as space permits."

• "I think this is a long overdue good idea! I compost yard debris on the side of my house. I have been wanting yard debris cart forever!! Right now my can is completely full with leaves and grass clippings and no room for trash."

Among the oppositional responses in the Sanipac survey were:

• "Not interested because of increase to our bill. Do not charge me for other people's problems."

• "Neither mandatory or subscription. Do not raise our rates! Sanipac is very expensive. The cost should be lowered and yard debris and better recycling should be part of the basic fee."

• "I cannot store another can! We have recycle, trash and glass bins. I'm out of room!"

• "I really don't want this on a mandatory rate. I have a fixed income and don't need this."

• "I have no interest in paying for this, as yard debris has value for us. "

According to the Sanipac survey, implementing yard debris has several benefits including environmental, safety and financial perks.

Yard debris and other organic matter that are taken to the landfill gets compressed down underneath layers of other garbage, the survey reads. Over time this material breaks down by way of anaerobic digestion - without the presence of oxygen - and releases methane gas.

Methane gas is over 20 times more destructive to the ozone layer than carbon dioxide. Yard debris collected and taken to a compost facility however is processed aerobically - with the presence of oxygen - and is turned into nutrient rich soil.

The survey also outlines that by having a yard debris service you can likely save time and money from disposing of this waste elsewhere and that curbside yard debris collection helps reduce the amount of yard waste burning in our area, preventing potential future wildfires.

The new service will likely be implemented in April 2019.

The next city council meeting will be a work session on Monday, Feb. 25, 6 p.m. at City Hall. The public is encouraged to attend.

 
 

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