Oskaloosa trash service rates on the rise
by Dennis Sharkey
Rates for trash service in the city of Oskaloosa will be increasing in January.
The monthly rate will increase by 50 cents from $11.80 a month to $12.30 for most customers. All other rates will remain the same.
SM Ball Waste Disposal owner and operator Shawn Ball said he was requesting the increase because of increases in costs.
The last increase Ball sought was in 2008 and since then landfill rates have increased from $32 a ton to $34.50 per ton. At an average rate of 48 tons a month the rates have increased by $120. The other major factor is fuel costs increase.
The increase will be about $210 for the city. City Clerk Patty Hamm said the city collects the fees and they are passed directly onto SM Ball Waste Disposal.
Ball said he took over service in Oskaloosa in 2001 and that this was only the third time that he requested an increase in the rates.
Rates did increase by $1 per month per customer last year for a recycling program. Ball provides bins that collect glass, tin, paper and plastics that are picked up twice a month. The bins are located on the south side of the school parking lot.
One resident in attendance at the meeting last Thursday said that a better service could not be found for the increase sought and urged the council to accept the increase. The council voted 4-0 for the increase. Mayor Mike Paavola voted for the increase before assuming the position of mayor later in the meeting.
Ball was asked if the recycling bins were being used. He said he checks them almost daily and that they are being used a lot.
Ball also had a proposal to expand the recycling program but at an increased cost.
Curbside recycling is a program that some communities have moved to. Some in Jefferson County are also considering a change.
Ball said a 95-gallon container would be provided to every customer and that recyclables could be commingled in the container.
The recyclables would be picked up on a monthly basis with trash service still occurring on a weekly basis.
The costs would be an additional $3 a month per customer. Ball said the city of Valley Falls was currently considering a proposal.
“You’re kind of defeating the purpose if you run a recycling route once a week with all of the fossil fuels you’re burning,” Ball said.
Ball said it would take about two or three months to implement the program. The only recyclable that could not be put into the curbside container would be glass items. A recycling bin to collect glass would remain at the school.
The council told Ball they would survey city residents to gage a desire for the curbside service.
Ball said if the city decides to not go with curbside recycling that he may survey customers and determine the need for a curbside route, although the costs would be higher.
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