New Green Forest committee talks trash

Monday, August 1, 2005

GREEN FOREST -- Lower prices, less litter and responsible recycling were some of the topics discussed at the first-ever Green Forest Solid Waste Committee meeting on Monday.

The committee was formed at the request of the city council, to find out what kind of trash service residents wanted.

With some people paying upwards of $60 a month and multiple haulers serving the town, city leaders know they can lower rates by contracting with one hauler and collecting the fee on water customer bills.

"No one is against the idea of saving money," said Joe Pierce, chairman of the committee who headed up the meeting, "but people don't like the limit of one bag."

He was referring to Berryville's trash service, which costs residents $8.65 a month for one bag and curbside recycling. Extra bags are picked up if they have a special tag, priced at $1.25.

One person in attendance said, "We should have a plan with two to four bags to take care of the average family."

On curbside recycling, he said, "Our landfills are filing up fast, other communities are promoting recycling. People should try it."

David Hanshaw also supported the curbside recycling option, saying it sets a good example.

Several noted that city-wide mandatory trash pickup would eliminate the illegal dumping of trash at the recycling center, in private dumpsters and along rural roadways.

The two waste hauling representatives at the meeting confirmed that trash bills will drop with one hauler serving the entire city and with the city collecting fees on water bills.

Roger Miner, with the Carroll County Solid Waste Authority, said the city can tailor a plan to meet its needs.

He said one option is a three-tiered plan: some residents can have low volume service with curbside recycling; others can use a 60-gallon bin; and those with significant trash can go for a 95-gallon bin.

The bins, he said, are provided by the hauler at no extra charge and are necessary because pickup crews can't keep track of who has what service.

He said there would be three billing codes for the water clerk in the three-tiered plan.

Minor encouraged the addition of curbside recycling even though it is more expensive because it establishes good habits.

"I agree that recycling is going to be the way we have to go," Pierce said, but noted that it might be in the future.

He invited all residents "recyclers and big bag people," to become part of the committee, "because everyone wants to save money."

Pierce said another meeting will be held sometime in August, and a "general framework" submitted to the city council at its September meeting.

He said it would be the council's responsibility to negotiate with waste haulers to find the best plan and best price.

"I don't care if it's Joe Blow and eight billy goats -- if they can save us money," he said.

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