If the Albany City Council agrees with a proposal by Republic Services, the company will pick up yard debris weekly instead of every other week, but it will charge more too.
The additional pickups would raise the price of trash service $3 a month, the company told the council Monday. Weekly pickup would also enable the company to accept household food waste in the same cart as yard debris. Food waste recycling is already available in Corvallis and Philomath and is being started in Lebanon. The company recycles yard debris and food scraps at Pacific Region Compost on Camp Adair Road.
Kevin Hines and Julie Jackson of Republic Services presented their proposal at a city council work session. The council would have to authorize the additional service and the price increase in order for the change to be made in Albany. With two members absent and excused, the council made no decision Monday, and City Manager Wes Hare said the proposal will be presented again at a forthcoming meeting. (If a date was mentioned, I didn’t hear it.)
Republic had surveyed its more than 5,000 Albany customers by email and got nearly 1,200 responses. Of those, 631 said they preferred weekly yard debris pickup, 740 said they would support a weekly yard debris program that included food scraps, 915 said they would find a weekly schedule more convenient, and 677 said they might be able to reduce the volume of their other trash if they could put food scraps and yard waste into yard debris carts picked up weekly. None of the questions mentioned the additional cost.
Republic, formerly Allied Waste, and Albany-Lebanon Sanitation before that, picks up trash and commingled recycling every week, and that would not change.
If the council authorizes the expanded service, Hines said the company could get it going in 60 days. And no, if the change is made, customers will not be able to opt out and keep yard debris service every two weeks because that would make weekly service too expensive for those who want it. (hh)