The Westby City Council has been looking for alternative ways to save money while also making improvements to the garbage and recycling collection for Westby residents.
The system that the city currently has is losing $75,000 annually, so it is not sustainable.
It also is an inconvenience for residents to purchase the orange bags and many have expressed that they would like to see recycling picked up more often.
The Council looked at two options to improve this program.
One option was to contract the garbage collection to an outside company, and the second option was to make improvements to the existing program.
When looking into contracting the garbage collection to an outside source, the city received proposals anywhere from $12 to $19 per month per household.
The fee would likely increase each year and the city would have no control over the cost with this option.
Feedback was also sought from other cities that currently contract out their garbage collection. The consistent issues were the cost increases and the outside companies having very specific places on where the garbage and recycling needed to be placed for pickup.
The City Council decided the best option would be to make improvements to their existing program.
This allows the city to keep the cost low for residents, provide a more flexible service, and increase the recycling schedule.
Effective Aug. 1, residents will no longer need to purchase orange garbage bags. Instead, each household will be charged $12 per month on their utility bill, and each household will be allowed to set out up to three large 33-gallon garbage bags per week that may be purchased anywhere they choose. The recycling schedule will be increased to twice per month. That schedule will be announced at a later date. There will also be a recycling sorting bin located at the city shop on West State Street available for residents to use.
To make this cost-effective, residents will be billed for the city’s service whether they use it or not.
Based on feedback from residents that chose to go with an outside company, it was primarily because they wanted to be able to recycle more often.
By making the necessary improvements to the recycling program and keeping the cost low, the city hope that residents who currently use outside companies will be pleased with the improvements being made. Businesses that currently use the city’s dumpsters will not have any changes to their service.
The city will also continue to provide dumpsters for home remodeling, spring cleaning, etc., at the current rate. Contact City Hall at 634-3214 for information on this service.
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