Liberty Grove Considers Town-Wide Trash Pickup

After experimenting with putting public trash receptacles in town parks, Liberty Grove Plan Commission member Michael Mercier said he was amazed at what he found in the cans.

“I’d been told repeatedly by the town board and by Jay [Olson] and by others how much it had been abused in the past, and I really didn’t think it could be possible for it to be abused that badly,” Mercier said at the Liberty Grove Town Board meeting on Oct. 2. “I literally found lawn furniture that was purposely cut up into pieces so that it would fit into a dumpster at Fitzgerald Park.”

The town’s trial run with trash receptacles in public areas ended in August, but the conversation continues. The town board is considering implementing a town-wide trash pickup service that would hopefully make it easier for residents to dispose of their waste, reduce the per-household cost of trash and recycling pickup and prevent dumping in public receptacles.

“What Liberty Grove is discussing is a town-wide trash and recycling pickup service provided to the taxpayers, and that would be paid for by the town and the individuals would pay for that service through their tax bill,” said Going Garbage owner Jeff Johnson. “The difference now is that for anyone who wants roadside pickup in Liberty Grove needs to contract directly with a licensed hauler to get that service and pay for it individually.”

Liberty Grove Town Board Supervisor Frank Forkert said the new system would save the town money. Taxpayers would share the cost burden for trash and recycling pickup, but the individual cost would be less than trash pickup costs currently. Residents could choose a full-year plan, six-month plan or totally opt out of the program.

An estimated full-year cost of pickup is $180 and six-month is $120, but those figures depend on how many people plan to participate in the program.

“Because of the volume and the quantity of an entire township, the unit costs will be lower,” Johnson said.

The town will send out a questionnaire to town residents, asking if they support a town-wide trash pickup service and if they would participate if a program was available.

The town board doesn’t plan to get rid of the current trash and recycling drop-off location at the town hall.

If the town goes through with the new pickup service and chooses Going Garbage to take the job, Johnson said he could create jobs to deal with the work.

“As part of the conversation about the trash pickup, I told them if we were the vendors to do this service it will mean at least two full-time jobs that I’ll be creating,” he said.

Commercial recycling is not considered in this plan.

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