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Thiensville likely to switch to recycling carts, bi-weekly pickup

Move could save village money, encourage more recycling

Dec. 3, 2013

Thiensville — Residents will be able to roll their recyclables to the curb in 2014.

On Monday the village Committee of the Whole gave its approval to a new recycling contract with Waste Management. The Village Board takes up the matter at its Dec. 16 meeting.

At present, residents use 18-gallon bins which are emptied on a weekly basis. The Waste Mangement proposal includes 96-gallon recycling containers on wheels that would be emptied every two weeks. When the new carts are delivered in January, residents will have 90 days to decide whether they want smaller carts, after which they would have to pay a $25 fee to make the switch.

Public Works Director Andy LaFond said the Waste Management proposal would save the village about $6,000 annually.

LaFond said the advantages of the bigger carts are threefold. First, rolling the recyclables is easier and less messy than carrying a bin; second, the much bigger containers could reduce clutter on village streets since the smaller bins at times overflow; and third, people seem to recycle more with bigger containers since they don't have to break down recyclables or put overflow in the garbage.

"It may bring the village's land fill fees down because there may be less stuff going in the garbage," LaFond said, adding, "I find it far easier to stand back and roll it with a handle than carry two bins of leaking recyclables out to the road."

Trustee John Treffert agreed to vote for the proposal on the condition that the village send out a letter to residents informing them of the change and the Village Board's Dec. 16 deliberation of the subject.

He warned the committee of a public backlash against the change, referencing the tumultuous meetings when the village considered switching from municipal to private garbage pickup.

"I was here for 'garbagegate', when we were going to privatize it," Treffert said. "Watch out."

Trustee Rob Holyoke called the move a "no brainer."

"I think the biggest downside is the public apprehension, but I think that will go away," Holyoke said.

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Thiensville Village Board meeting, deliberation of recycling contract

WHEN: 6 p.m. Dec. 16

WHERE: Thiensville Village Hall, 250 Elm Street

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