By Meg Olson
According to Cando Recycling and Disposal Services owner David Gellatly, the numbers from the rollout of mandatory garbage pickup show the system is doing what it’s supposed to do.
“I believe the garbage is going where it’s supposed to go and people who weren’t handling their garbage in an appropriate manner are now handling it appropriately,” he said.
The second week in January saw the start of mandatory garbage collection for all developed parcels, as established by county ordinance in 2018. Gellatly said they had split the Point into three routes with approximately 640 stops each that will be served on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday every other week by a garbage and recycling truck. Property owners will be billed for that basic service by the county through the property tax rolls. Customers also have the option to pay for weekly garbage service on their appointed pickup day.
During the first pickup week, Gellatly said approximately 450 people put garbage out, up from the 300 customers that had signed up for curbside service prior to it becoming mandatory. “We certainly expect that to go up in the summer,” he said.
The volume of residential garbage collected increased by 40 percent, while the volume of commercial garbage dropped by 30 percent compared to the previous collection period. “I believe people are putting their garbage at the curb instead of in businesses’ dumpsters,” Gellatly said. He added he also expects to see a drop in trips to the transfer station. Recyclables collected also increased by 25 percent.
Gellatly said he has hired an additional full-time employee in the office and increased the hours his drivers and swampers work. He expects those positions will become full-time in the summer months. Staff at the transfer station and on the trucks have been working to help people understand the new system. “We’ve had 400 to 500 people come in and to pick up recycling bins and ask questions,” he said.
With a growing number of homes served, Gellatly said the trucks were starting earlier in order to stay on schedule. “Residents need to have their garbage at the curb by 8 a.m.,” he said. “If it’s not at the curb we can’t pick it up unless you’ve made arrangements ahead of time.”