The Mount Pleasant Sanitation Committee met last night with a good-sized crowd in attendance. Typically, matters of garbage would not draw such attention, but an issue was brought up which sparked the interest of many in the community.
The trash pickup system in Mount Pleasant is due to change, and after last night’s meeting, it has been pushed back from February 1st to March 1st. The committee voted to recommend to the council a 3rd tier of container, which now allows a household to opt in for a 65-gallon container picked up once a month for $10. The other two options are still available, a 65-gallon container for $16.75 or a 95 gallon for $19.75 a month, both picked up weekly.
The committee voted to recommend this to the City Council, and they will vote on that this next Wednesday, January 24th, at 5:30pm.
For those who choose this once a month pickup, if the contract is passed, will receive a different color lid for their container.
Citizens may have received a letter in the mail recently about the trash pickup. According to the committee, those letters will become “null and void” if the city council passes the 3rd tier option next Wednesday.
The change comes after the community spoke up. Many people do not feel like they can fill a 65-gallon container each week, and do not want to pay $16.75 a month if they are not going to use the full container. A member mentioned how Lance Refuse and WEMIGA Waste proposed the new option to the city council after the council asked them if there was anything they could do. A person in the audience addressed Mike Lance and Lynn Whaley directly, “Thankyou for listening to the seniors who are living off of social security.”
Matthew Crull, a councilman and chair of the sanitation committee, gave a brief history regarding the current trash sticker system, which has been in place for 31 years. The city would have to purchase a new truck in the ballpark of $400,000-600,000, and the people picking up the garbage are not allowed to throw garbage in the truck or ride on the back, due to recent workman comp claims. Crull said that the city can’t justify the cost with so few people on the sticker system.
It is illegal to burn or bury trash in Iowa, and according to Iowa law, the city must have an agreement with a landfill. All trash generated in Mt. Pleasant must go to the Des Moines County landfill.
The question arose about home-based businesses, and how that will work with garbage pickup. The public has been told that those are on a “case by case” basis.
It was revealed that WEMIGA Waste and Lance Refuse both dropped their rates to help the city of Mount Pleasant. If you were to throw a party and need extra trash pickup, you would need to contact your hauler, and they can pick it up for a fee. The same goes for those who *need* their trash taken to the curb for them. A $12 fee will be charged if they are unable, and the hauler will bring it to the truck for them. It should be noted that this should only apply to those who are physically unable to bring their container to the curb.
Many people have old garbage cans sitting on their property that they won’t have room for if this new system is passed. The hauler can pick those old cans up, or you can contact turn it into scrap metal.
A reminder that this proposed contract is 5 years, and there is a potential 2% increase in price each of those five years due to inflation. WEMIGA Waste will service every household north of Washington St to the northern city limit, while Lance Refuse will service those south of Washington St, to the south limit.
The local haulers were contacted because they are local, and the council naturally gravitated towards them. The city of Washington now is picked up by a service out of Cedar Rapids.
A community member said “I appreciate that we are kind of turning a corner on this.” Many others thanked the committee and council for listening and coming up with a third option, as well as posting the agenda for the meeting on Facebook.