GM’s Corner: A change in seasons
September 23, 2017
October. That time of year when the weather cools, the days get shorter, and the autumn leaves provide beautiful fall colors.
Starting this year, October also means a second round of pine needle pickup here in Incline Village.
Our new franchise agreement with Waste Management extended the yard waste collection period to 16 weeks from 12 weeks. In addition, the number of stickers provided for your bagged materials was increased from to 96 from 72.
The fall yard waste collection begins on Monday, Oct. 2, and continues through Friday, Oct. 27.
The first 12 weeks of yard waste this year generated nearly triple the volume of yard waste experienced in previous years. From a recycling standpoint, this was great news. Conversely, it created operational problems. Waste Management staff was overwhelmed by demand and timely pickup of yard waste was a problem.
In order to ensure better service this fall, Waste Management has increased both the amount of equipment and the number of drivers. In addition, Waste Management is working with local landscaping companies to let them know that they can bring non-bagged loads of pine needles with stickers directly to the transfer station. This should help reduce the demand for curbside pickup.
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Speaking of the transfer station, Waste Management has also increased the staffing, including a full-time route manager housed at the transfer station and a streamlined operation in the yard to reduce wait times. They have also increased the capacity of their phone system, and increased the number of staff supporting phone coverage.
Waste Management is also adding a mechanic to their local staff to reduce the amount of downtime for their vehicles.
By the end of the first year of the new service program, Waste Management will have increased their overall staffing in Incline Village by 85 percent. This should ensure far fewer service disruptions in year two of the new agreement.
Waste Management is also in the process of planning a multimillion-dollar renovation of the transfer station. The renovation will greatly improve the circulation within the station and provide for a much better customer experience.
While we've been very frustrated by the many service issues encountered over the past year, we are encouraged by the significant investment in staff and resources that Waste Management is now dedicating to Incline Village.
Back on July 20, this column focused on the upcoming transition from the education to enforcement period for the new trash collection procedures.
We realized that the change from bags to containers and the inclusion of weekly recycling would require a major change in the weekly rhythm for our customers. We also realized that many of our curbside pickup customers would not be in town until after Memorial Day.
And since our goal for trash collection is compliance and not the collection of fees, we conducted an extended educational period for all minor violations of the trash collection ordinance. On Aug. 1, the educational period was over and full enforcement began.
Since that time, we have issued 58 wildlife resistant carts. Most of the violations occurred in the first month, so compliance appears to be getting better each week. Given that we have approximately 4,000 curbside customers, the compliance rate exceeds 98 percent.
Thanks to all of you for working with us to ensure a clean and safe environment for our community.
"GM's Corner" is a recurring column from IVGID General Manager Steve Pinkerton, who discusses issues and offers updates regarding various district matters. He may be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.