IVGID GM Corner: The future of trash, recycling service for Incline Village
February 3, 2016
What local government issue generates the most emotionally charged discussion?
If you had asked me that at the start of my career, I would have assumed it was a contentious land-use issue such as an infill condo project or a fast food restaurant with a drive-thru going in next to an existing neighborhood.
And I've certainly lived through my share of each of those scenarios. I've likely spent several years of my life dealing with those sorts of issues.
However, while land-use issues generate lots of energy for those directly impacted by the project, they typically don't generate community-wide angst.
“Not only do we have strong opinions about trash, there is plenty of energy regarding the impact of trash on our wildlife, our health and the overall aesthetics related to trash collection in the community.”
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I've found that nothing can energize the entire community more than trash collection.
It seems as though all of us have a strong opinion as to the type, size, and even color of our trash bins. We all have differing views on recycling, what to recycle, how frequently to recycle and how to separate our recycling.
And all of us with yard waste have plenty of varying views on when, what and how that should be collected.
When it comes to excitement over trash, I've found our community to be exceptional in the level of interest.
Not only do we have strong opinions about trash, there is plenty of energy regarding the impact of trash on our wildlife, our health and the overall aesthetics related to trash collection in the community.
On Feb. 24 at 5:30 p.m. at the Chateau, the Board of Trustees will be discussing the future of trash collection for the district. They'll be receiving a report from a board subcommittee (composed of Trustees Jim Hammerel and Phil Horan) that has been studying the issue over the past few months.
Besides reviewing our existing agreements, they've also learned more about trash collection in adjoining communities, how services are being updated in these communities and what the options are for trash collection in the future.
They've also worked closely with staff to learn more about the public feedback we've received on our existing services. In addition, staff has provided them with the public discussion that ensued when the board first started considering updates to our trash collection back in 2013.
In addition, we held a public forum on trash Monday, Jan. 25. We've also been soliciting feedback from our residents via direct mailings and one-on-one interactions.
By the way, thanks to all of you who attended the forum last Monday. We had a good crowd and got lots of good feedback and questions at that meeting.
We've put a copy of the presentation and the webcast from that forum on our website. We've also included a copy of our existing contract with Waste Management on the same webpage along with other information regarding trash collection.
Visit bit.ly/1SGvarI to access the information.
Some of the basic information noted at the hearing included:
About half of our customers get residential collection services, while about half of our customers receive trash collection via a multifamily or business Dumpster.
Our current Franchise Agreement with Waste Management to collect solid waste expires on March 31, 2017.
Refuse collection on a weekly basis is mandatory in Washoe County.
Our refuse is required to go through a transfer station.
Our current transfer station is owned by Waste Management, not the district.
Over half the trash collected at the transfer station comes from commercial and residential drop off, not trash collection.
The website includes more information on all of these factoids and provides a good summary of the services currently provided.
Since our franchise agreement is about to expire, now is the time to determine what services we'd like to keep or change in the future.
For example, what sort of trash containers should be allowed in the future? How frequently should recycling be picked up? How many weeks should the green waste program be in place each year?
Should we mandate any sort of wildlife resistant containers for residential or commercial customers? Should we go out to bid for the new Service Agreement, or should we just re-negotiate with Waste Management?
These are the questions the Board will be wrestling with on Feb. 24. We'd love to get your feedback in advance of the meeting, or at the meeting as well.
The website noted above includes a button you click and leave your feedback. You can also email our Communications Coordinator, Misty Moga at firstname.lastname@example.org if you don't want to use the website link.
Either way, your comments will be shared with board. We are looking forward to talking trash on Feb. 24. Hope to see you then.
"GM's Corner" is a recurring column from Incline Village General Improvement Distinct General Manager Steve Pinkerton, who will discuss issues and offer updates regarding various district matters. He may be reached for comment at email@example.com.