What once was applauded as an innovative solution for reducing UA's solid-waste stream, increasing recycling rates and allowing residents to control costs, has outlived its usefulness.
The sticker program is labor-intensive and cannot adapt to industry advancements. The crews lack incentive to ensure household compliance and the haphazard mix of refuse and recycling containers result in blowing trash and unsightly streets.
We are a community that proudly touts the contrast between UA streets and those of our surrounding neighbors come snow-removal season. The same cannot be said of our solid-waste program, which is emerging as the lowest rated municipal service from the 2017 community survey.
A new approach is on the horizon that will:
* Enable residents to dispose of yard waste at no extra charge.
* Enable residents to put out bulk items on collection day at no extra charge.
* Cost a household that uses one or more stickers per week less than they paid in 1992.
* Provide one (recycling) or two (recycling plus refuse) uniform, larger volume containers with lids and wheels at no additional cost.
* Still cater to elderly or infirm residents who need at-the-door collection.
* Still provide a premium, at-the-door service option.
* Provide a service discount for the community's seniors.
* Evenly spread the unavoidable costs associated with sending refuse, recycling and yard waste trucks and crews down every UA street, every week of every year.
* Position us to take advantage of today's advances in solid-waste delivery -- which means quicker collections, fewer broken containers and a happier/healthier solid-waste workforce.
This past spring, the city solicited quotes for various refuse and recycling options. Bids from three solid-waste providers were received on June 21. Staff's initial review of the results were presented to City Council at its June 26 meeting. All signs indicate that Local Waste is the "lowest and best" bidder. From this bid, three primary options have emerged:
Option 1: No limit to quantity of refuse; 64-gallon recycling containers provided by the vendor; residents provide refuse containers; yard waste and bulk items collected at no additional charge.
Option 2: Refuse limited to contents of container; 64-gallon recycling containers and 64-or 96-gallon solid waste containers provided by the vendor; unlimited solid waste following Fourth of July and Christmas holidays; yard waste and bulk items collected at no additional charge.
Option 3: No limit to quantity of refuse; 64-gallon recycling containers and 64-or 96-gallon solid-waste containers provided by the vendor; yard waste and bulk items collected at no additional charge.
A final recommendation will be presented to council for its endorsement this month. In the lead up to these meetings, the city is reaching out to the community to share the results of this process and to seek one last round of resident feedback.
The community engagement and public hearing schedule is as follows:
* Open town hall survey: Look for the link on our homepage to give us your feedback on the available options.
* Informational public meeting, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 9, 3600 Tremont Road.
* Telephone town hall, evening of Tuesday, Aug. 15.
* First council reading and public hearing, 7:30 p.m., Monday, Aug. 21, 3600 Tremont Road.
* Second council reading, public hearing, council action, 7:30 p.m., Monday, Aug. 28, 3600 Tremont Road.
For additional information on this issue, please visit www.uaoh.net.
Theodore J. Staton is Upper Arlington's city manager. His office provides this column to ThisWeek Upper Arlingtno News.