It’s been six months since the village of Montpelier made ARS its trash service, but some people are still using other companies.
The matter came up during the April 24 meeting of the Montpelier Village Council. ARS Vice President Michele Ryder was on hand to talk with council on how well the new deal is going. Village officials and ARS met recently to discuss the practical side of the deal and to handle any issues, Village Administrator Kevin Brooks said. “We hashed out some ongoing issues and talked about our relationship moving forward, the contract, and some of the hot issues,” Brook said. “I thought there was a lot of give and take on both sides and it was a wonderful conversation. It’s just refreshing to deal with good people.”
ARS is actively working to get trash pickup down to a one-day service, company Vice President Michele Ryder said. And if not in one day, no more than two days, she said.
The whole point in the village bidding out the work in the first place is to get away from a four-day trash pickup schedule, Brooks said. The village didn’t want to disrupt anyone’s pickup day at first, but now the transition is over and it’s time to change things around, he said.
“We expect some confusion; we expect some problems,” Brooks said. “And like we did with the transition, we will deal with it.” The transition will be complete in 8-10 weeks, Brooks said.
Another factor in the transition is ARS is still waiting for most of the community to sign up for the service, Ryder said. The company is sitting at 42 percent of the community not using the service, she said.
“So it’s really hard for us to route to one day, if we have 42 percent who aren’t using it,” Ryder said.
The village wants to move to a shorter schedule so it can identify the people who are using a different company, Brooks said. The village has rules which are supposed to prevent this. “It is not a penalty to the resident,” Brooks said. “But it will be a significant penalty to the service provider. We need to do a better job of identifying and enforcing our regulations.”
Republic is the major offender, considering the village has told them about the new contract, Brooks said. From his experience with other communities, where trash haulers respect each other’s territories, it does not appear Republic is respecting the contract, he said.
“We have reached out to Republic on at least three separate occasions. We have addressed the issue. We have identified specific residents and they continue to violate the spirit of the contract. So we are disappointed about that. The enforcement is on us.”
Montpelier’s situation is unique among the communities ARS serves, Ryder said. The village is only one which the company bills the resident.
“Because what it does, it gives the resident an option,” Ryder said. “This is our first experience with billing the customers directly.”
Neither the village nor ARS can force residents to switch, Brooks and Ryder agreed. The hope was never 100 percent, but the village thought 80 or 90 percent was possible, Brooks said. Some rental unit landlords have two containers for four units, he said.
“We have a lot of people that just flat out refused to sign up,” Brooks said. “I wonder where their garbage goes.”
Being a customer has its benefits as the big trash pickup (June 10) is free only to ARS customers. Residents can’t sign up for service on cleanup day, Ryder said.
ARS gave residents eight weeks of free service before they took back their containers. About 100 people did sign up for the service when notified of the deadline, Ryder said. People who have not signed up will now be subject to delivery fees to get a container, she said. “We are not upset about it,” Ryder said.
After the talks, one issue resolved was the monthly pick up will be limited to three items.
The spring trash drop off will be 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., June 10. The event is sponsored by ARS and Earth Friendly Recyclers at the Montpelier Street Department, 1010 E. Main St.
The following items will not be accepted: Residential bagged trash, Yard waste (branches, leaves, grass) (Yard waste is not accepted at the landfill), Hazardous waste (Pesticides, batteries, liquid paint). Dried paint is accepted as long as the lid is off. Also not accepted will be: Tires, liquids, burn barrels (Bagged ashes and empty barrels will be accepted; barrels full of ashes will not be accepted). Concrete or concrete blocks are not acceptable.
Acceptable items include: Furniture, televisions, mattresses, box springs, mowers, rototillers, swing sets. Construction material cannot exceed 5 feet in length and must fit into a container or back of truck.
Earth Friendly Recyclers has its own materials list.
Items with a charge associated include: CRT monitors $7 each, Batteries $1 per pound, Florescent lights 25 cents per foot or 50 cents for spiral bulbs. Electric organs or keyboards are $10 each.
Free items include: Appliances, flat-screen monitors, tablets, laptops, VCR/DVD players, power cords, radios, power strip/surge protectors, office equipment, Christmas lights, house wire, computer towers, phones, Ipads, cable boxes, gaming consoles, printers, scanners, fans, lamps, lighting strips, extension/drop cords, circuit boards at microwaves.
Yagelski welcomed some high school students to the meeting. He thanked them for coming and told them to tell other students who have not made it yet time is running out.
“The month of May is going to be a little shaky with the number of meetings,” Yagelski said.
The mayor also read the proclamation for the 66th National Day of Prayer (May 4). The local recognition of the event will be at 6:30 p.m. at the House of Prayer with light refreshments and the full service at 7 p.m.