West U Council Puts Trash Automation on Hold
The City of West U will not be implementing automated solid waste collection throughout the city in the near future.
The West U City Council was presented with an automated residential collection feasibility study on Monday night.
The city hired SAIC Energy, Environment and Infrastructure, LLC in February 2012 to determine the costs of implementing automation and the costs of instituting a yard waste service.
SAIC found that switching from the city’s current solid waste collection to automation would achieve a 3.6 percent reduction in costs and would increase the city’s diversion rate from 25 to 30 percent.
The city’s total cost of the current collection program is $1,736,799 per year. Switching to automation is projected to cost $1,674,262 and the cost of automation and closing the recycling center is $1,536,749, according to the feasibility study.
Whether the city decided to stick with their current program or change to automation, SAIC recommended that the city consider closing its recycling center and utilize a 4/10 collection schedule, picking up four days a week, 10 hours per day. The city currently collects five days per week and eight hours per day.
City Manager Michael Ross has said that the city will most likely recommend closing its recycling center in the near future.
Assistant Public Works Director Dave Beach told the council last night that he has looked into switching to a 4/10 collection schedule.
Monday’s automation feasibility presentation comes more than two years after the West U Recycling and Solid Waste Reduction Board first started looking at automation efforts for the city.
The recycling board has told council in the past that automation “is the way to go,” but Recycling Board Chair Jan Kellogg said last night that her board was hoping to see more of a cost savings.
Kellogg said that switching to automation would be a disruption on the community for such little gain.
The city also recently surveyed its resident about its solid waste and recycling services by telephone and had 94 percent of participants say that they were either “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with West U trash pick-up.