June 14, 2017 Edition

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WR to see sanitation
changes this summer

Aubree Hughart
TD Intern

Beginning July 5, the Walnut Ridge street and sanitation department will be rolling out the brand new Cascade Solution garbage carts for local residents and businesses.

Each household with a water meter will receive a 96-gallon, dolly-style garbage cart to begin placing their trash in. This uniform system will replace the former system, in which residents could set out any trash bag, garbage can or box to be picked up by the sanitation crew.

All trash must be placed in the cart with the lid closed, then rolled out to the street for pick up. Residents will be cited if their cart is not facing forward or is obstructed by other nearby objects. After their trash is picked up, residents will have 24 hours to remove their cart from the street.

Each business using the city sanitation department as well as all households will be given one cart labeled with a unique serial number. Households and businesses are responsible for any damages done to the container. Households and/or businesses that need a second cart may contact City Hall. There will be a deposit on the second cart, as well as an additional monthly fee.

Businesses that are already in a dumpster contract with the city will not see any changes unless they are interested in switching to the cart program.

Walnut Ridge Mayor Charles Snapp believes this new program will stabilize the monthly garbage fee for residents. "Last year we raised the fee to $12 a month," said Snapp. "With this new program, we will be able to avoid fee hikes for years to come."

The program will enable the street and sanitation department to become much more efficient. Rather than taking five days to pick up all local trash, the goal is to get pick-up down to two days.

No workers will be laid off in this process. With the extra hours made available by the new program, the city hopes to run more Class IV pick-ups for large and bulky items. The city also plans to use employees to run the limb and leaf pick-up truck more frequently.

Overall, Snapp believes the program will save the city $50,000-$60,000 yearly in net savings and labor costs.

Snapp firmly believes the cart program will eliminate abuse of the system. "A single individual should not be charged for the abuse of the sanitation system. Someone running a business out of their house, or someone with a large family, could use 10 times as much trash as one person," said Snapp. "One cart should be enough for most households, but if it is not, they can purchase an extra and be the only person paying the additional service price."

The service will reap other positive benefits for the community as well. The carts are uniform, which serves as a revitalization effort to keep the community looking neat and clean.

Additionally, the carts are heavy duty, which will ensure that they won’t blow over or blow the lids off. The amount of stray animals in town will also be reduced, as the inability for an animal to chew through these carts as they could a trash bag will eliminate their food source.

Trash pick-up dates will likely change in the coming weeks. Residents will be made aware of any changes through The Times Dispatch and the City of Walnut Ridge Facebook page.

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