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Monday, May 2, 2016

Sanitation Department struggling

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Brazil Clerk-Treasurer Karen McQueen
The City of Brazil's Sanitation Department is struggling to keep its head above the heap.

"The department was about $20,000 over budget last year because of the gas prices hovering around $4 a gallon for a while and increases in the tipping fees," Brazil Clerk-Treasurer Karen McQueen said. "Even though gas prices have gone back down this year, it is going to be close because the tipping fees have gone up again."

Sanitation Supervisor Casey Archer told The Brazil Times the department takes at least one full load (12 tons) to Sycamore Ridge Landfill each day trash is picked up.

"Depending on the size of the load, it costs between $450 and $480 per drop off," Archer said. "Plus there are times where we have to make two trips a day."

The current monthly rate for residents' trash pickup is $10.50, which was set in February 2007.

McQueen said the city is doing what it can to avoid making any rate increases in the near future.

"In the past few months, we have gone to having heavy trash pickup only once a month rather than once a week," she said. "Also, we have brought the number of employees to a minimum, with a total of four guys on the back of the sanitation trucks on a rotating basis."

The city also conducted a rate study for the sanitation department to determine ways to generate revenue or help residents reduce the amount of trash produced.

"We would like to see residents put more focus into recycling," McQueen said. "Not only would it cut down on the amount of trash, but it also provides an avenue to reuse our resources."

While the city drops off at least 12 tons of trash per day, Larry Wallace, owner of Wallace Bros. Inc., Knightsville, told The Brazil Times his company only receives about one ton of recycling materials each month.

"There are specially marked bags for residents to put all of their recycling materials in and the city will pick it up and bring it to us," Wallace said. "We also separate the materials so residents can put it all in one place."

Wallace said his company accepts paper, aluminum cans, steel cans, No. 2 plastics (milk jugs), No. 1 plastics (pop bottles) and cardboard, because those are the largest portions of recycling materials they tend to receive.

McQueen added she is trying to come up with a program in which residents may also recycle glass.

"The sanitation department is self-supporting, but we don't want to add any more fees onto the residents at this time," she said. "I want to find a way to recycle glass for the city because if we can increase the amount of recycling, it will really help out everyone."

Just the facts

The following are the remaining days of heavy trash pickup for the City of Brazil in 2009:

* May 15,

* June 19,

* July 17,

* August 14,

* September 18,

* October 23,

* November 20, and

* December 18.

Note: Each of these dates are Fridays.

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I have said this SEVERAL times. Time to start charging for trash pick up by the bag instead of the week so it will encourage those who are not doing so already to recycle. Not until it hurts their own pocket book will some people ever start to recycle. Yes it take extra effort but it reduces trash at the landfill.

ISU recycle facility as well as Wallace Bros both take a lot of materials and ISU even takes glass though they actually have to pay to handle it and it uses the money they make from handling the other materials just to get more people to recycle.

It's time we think about throwing out the trash more honestly as we really aren't getting rid of it. We are moving it from one location to another and as we fill up more space on this earth it's going to keep costing more and more.

Put the City logo on the bags and sell the bags. then stick to your guns and only pick up those bags. We reduced our trash by about 50% when we seriously started to recycle. Flattening all cereal boxes etc, all tin cans, all milk jugs.

Once you make it part of your routine it's not that big of a deal...

Maybe if Wallace had more volume of recyclables he too could subsidize the glass pick up to reduce the weight going into the landfill like ISU is doing already.

Time to go about this differently and make it more expensive for those who choose to add all that extra "stuff" to their trash bags.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Sun, Apr 26, 2009, at 8:45 PM


Excellent suggestion.

-- Posted by Anodos on Mon, Apr 27, 2009, at 7:36 AM

Jenny you must not have been laid off or lost your job, 1/2 or not more of Clay County is hurting right now because they have no job and you are saying carge them for trashbags.

I am all for recycling - but - give the trashbags they do not cost that much.

And maybe the City of Brazil should think about letting them burn paper in city limits.

Or look in to the guys that are not on the back of the truck going around with a regular pick up and picking up the recyclables.

There are lots of this Brazil can do and people thay can talk to.

-- Posted by Batchelor3495 on Mon, Apr 27, 2009, at 11:19 AM

Great point Jenny, but one problem. Yes the city has to stick to their guns by only picking up the "city logo" bags. What do you do with the bags that are placed out with out the logo. The city already has a problem with animals and trash over the city.

Another suggest is providing the citizens not with bags, but rather trash cans and allow them to only pick up (at the $10.50 fee) what can fit in the can. This does two things, 1- the truck can be equiped to help the city employees in picking up the trash mechanicaly instead of manually. 2-limits the amount that can be picked up. If one abuses the program you simple contact the customer and require them to get a second can at an additional fee. And the best part is that you can get a smaller can for senior citizens at a reduced rate.

As far as recycling this is a great long term fix. My family and I started simple, it is a lifetime adjustment. We now recycle, paper, plastic (type 1 and 2), cardboard, newspaper, utilize other services such as Goodwill. We have reduced our trash in half! Yes it works. But it takes a community effort. And I feel better because Jenny's right we simply shift it from one place to the other. Reduce-Reuse-Recycle. We only have one rock to ride around on. We had better take care of it!!!!!!

-- Posted by Partrosie on Mon, Apr 27, 2009, at 4:27 PM


this has nothing to do with being laid off or charging more for trash pick up. This method would be in use instead of the charge already in place whether it be via taxes or direct billing, not in addition to... That way the person can control what he pays by controlling what he puts in trash. Put the choice back in consumer's hands instead of charging everyone the same whether they put out one bag or 6!

The container deal Partrosie mentions works just as well. Graduated can sizes and graduated fees. I wouldn't limit it just to seniors though. Encourage everyone to put out less trash to be picked up.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Mon, Apr 27, 2009, at 7:45 PM

The trash pickup in Brazil has been generous for years. Not very many cities allow people to dump their junk out on the street and at the cost to the taxpayers pick up the "heavy-duty" trash. The city needs to stop being so generous with this issue. Mayor Bradshaw is doing whatever she can and trying to upgrade the way things are being done, finally! I think we should have specifications of trash containers, and that is all you can set out. Anything extra would be charged. Or as suggested, allow everyone to purchase a trash container from the City to use.

We have to face the facts right now. The hard facts are the economy isn't doing well in Brazil. No businesses are wanting to move in. Jobs are being cut. Pay is being cut. That also means the City is generating less revenue and having to come up with new ideas on how to cut funds. Unfortunately, many people have the idea that our local government has a unending amount of funds that can be used. The truth is the city is poor and in debt. Mayor Bradshaw is having to come up with ideas to help save the city. Those ideas aren't going to be popular by any means, but we have to all work together and start saving.

-- Posted by Criminology08 on Tue, Apr 28, 2009, at 3:27 AM

A few years ago there was some consideration of hiring a private firm to handle trash pick up for the City. Even without having knowledge of the details of that decision, I think that the City made the right choice in not going through with that short sighted view. The City trash rate is fairly low when compared to the rates of disposal companies. City sanitation workers do an excellent job. In the mind of City Government we are self sufficient in this area, but if we are loosing money changes need to be made. Slight increases in rates are manageable for working class people. Though they may complain mildly, they will still appreciate the service and consider its quality and convenience. Unfortunately we may have a new class of people emerging. The unemployed workers. The idea of charging for bags is a little much, in fact I would rather the city provide bags for free, or at cheaper rate than common prices. Not with the intent to force citizens to use a certain bag, but more so to help the citizens. I like the idea of City Trash cans being provided, that is a fine idea from what it seems. With that thought in mind, maybe it wouldn't be unreasonable to charge for an additional container. The encouragement and education of citizens about recycling is a great idea. Its a broader and smarter way to think about dealing with waste. Let us not forget there are more than just a couple people in government concerned about this, and as human beings we all should be doing our part.

-- Posted by spiritof56 on Tue, Apr 28, 2009, at 12:00 PM

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