Spring trash cleanup to changeWORTHINGTON — Major changes are on the way for Worthington’s annual city-wide spring trash pick-up, which will begin May 16 this year.
WORTHINGTON — Major changes are on the way for Worthington’s annual city-wide spring trash pick-up, which will begin May 16 this year.
Many items will cost $10 to be picked up, and the quantity of trash to be picked up will be limited to what would fit in a regular pick-up box. No recyclables, no hazardous items and no items small enough to be placed in weekly containers will be picked up.
“The first problem has been the abuse,” said Jim Laffrenzen, Worthington Director of Public Works. “Approximately one-third (of the trash) could actually be put in the weekly container, and we know that approximately 10 percent (of the items picked up) are being brought into the community.”
The changes to the program will reduce the cost of the service to residents beginning next year, Laffrenzen said. Local residents will likely see an increase to the spring clean-up fee this year, because it will be based on last year’s clean-up efforts.
“It was never designed to eliminate the weekly pickup. It was designed to let people be rid of items that would not fit into the container or could not be recycled,” he added.
Those items will still be picked up, as usual.
Tags costing $10 will be required for humidifiers, de-humidifiers, appliances, mattresses of all kinds, large pieces of furniture, room-sized rolls of floor covering and electronics. If one of those items is out and does not have a tag, it will not be picked up, Laffrenzen warned.
Tags will be available beginning May 2 at City Hall, the Public Utilities Office, the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce and Schaap Sanitation.
Items cannot be placed on the curb until May 11. Items will begin being picked up May 16.
Even with the fee, city residents will be saving money by throwing out items during the spring clean-up. Typical fees at the dump for items are around $20 — twice what a tag will cost.
Hot water heaters will be picked up for free, along with piles of lumber, doors, windows, metal and iron, but piles larger than would fit in a regular pick-up box will not be picked up.
This year, no recyclables will be picked up during the spring clean-up.
“We are aggressively going to reject those piles that include those recyclables,” said Eric Joens, district manager of Schaap Sanitation, noting that would include not just the recyclable items, but possibly, the entire pile. “It is up to the homeowner to get rid of their recycling on recycling day, and not to lazily include it in the trash pile for spring clean-up.”
Approximately a third of the cost of spring clean-up might be avoided if people follow the rules, Joens said, and then the people who dispose of items will be the ones who pay for the disposal, rather than the cost being distributed to the entire population.
“I think it boils down to a fairness issue,” Laffrenzen said.
It is also a volume issue.
“If we have to fill a whole truck up in front of one house, that takes time to load and there’s the disposal costs associated with it,” Joens explained. “We believe (with the changes) we can get rid of some of the large volumes that are costing the city residents so much.”
Last year, one residence had six full truckloads of material on its lawn.
If a person has too much stuff for the city-wide trash pick-up, Schaap Sanitation will pick up those items separately for a fee at any time of the year.
They do not have to be saved for the spring clean-up.
The city of Worthington has charged fees and utilized different systems for the spring event in the past.
With a fee, there were 500 appliances left at the curb. Last year, there were 700 of them.
Partly because of the changes, fines for illegal dumping will be aggressively pursued this year.
All illegal dumping should be reported to local law enforcement officials immediately.
“We’re trying to make this as smooth a transition as possible,” Joens said. “Just give us a call (with questions).”
Call Schaap Sanitation at 376-9218 with questions about the spring clean-up.