Residents south of Villanow Street whose previous pickup dates were Monday and Thursday will from now on receive garbage pickups on Thursdays only, with exceptions to be made for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Those who live north of Villanow Street and who typically receive pickup on Tuesdays and Fridays will now have garbage services on Tuesdays only. The monthly cost of garbage pickup to city customers will not change.
The move is being made as a cost-cutting measure, as the city determined during the month-long trial of the once-per-week pickup just how much can be kept in city coffers by doing so.
“What we’re looking at, just in fuel alone, is $10,000 in annual savings,” said LaFayette city manager Frank Etheridge.
Furthermore, by only running the garbage trucks once per week, the city is saving on maintenance costs to the trucks as well as wear and tear on the city roads.
And, as an extra bonus, the public works department is able to use personnel who would otherwise be collecting the garbage for other duties, effectively adding 20 hours per week of work to two employees’ available time – the rough equivalent of hiring an extra hand at public works.
“During the process we also found that it was cheaper to dispose of our brush and debris with the county’s transfer station rather than the one we’ve been using, by about $10 a ton, so that’s an issue we’re looking at,” said Etheridge.
The decision did not come without much discussion, however, as the main concern of the city council was the availability of the larger garbage cans and the need that might be created for them with once-weekly pickups.
Currently, the city only has a limited number of the larger, 96-gallon garbage cans left, but will order more in the future. Residents who feel that their can is inadequate in size for a full week’s worth of garbage are welcome to call the city and request a larger can; if none are available at the time, they can receive a second 65-gallon can.
The city expects to reap a long-term benefit of money saved as a result of this measure, despite the investments that will have to be put into purchasing more 96-gallon garbage cans in the future. Hopes are that each LaFayette resident will eventually receive one of the larger cans, and the 65-gallon ones can be sold as surplus.
Etheridge also has hopes to introduce more recycling into the city – perhaps as part of the regular garbage pickup one day – though there are currently no distinct plans for its implementation. City residents are encouraged to continue using the large recycling bin behind the courthouse on Napier Street as much as possible.
During the Monday evening meeting, city officials praised the public works department and its employees for their adaptation to the change during the trial month as well as their increased efforts all around the city.
“Our city employees have really caught on fire in the last six or seven months and they’re cleaning this place up,” said councilman Wayne Swanson.
For more information on the garbage service changes or to request a larger or second garbage can, call the LaFayette city hall at 706-639-1500.