On Friday, Feb. 9, the Perry City Council met for a special meeting regarding the discussion of solid waste collection operators in town.
Council members were joined by Public Works Director, Jack Butler and Deputy Public Works Director, Josh Wuebker, who both discussed ways in way the city can improve how garbage is disposed.
A group of four work with garbage, one individual works with recycling, and another individual fills in when someone on the team is sick, Jack Butler, Public Works Director explains.
“We’re constantly covering,” Butler said. “We’re trying to come up with a better plan and try to get moving forward.”
The option of shortening routes to three days instead of four, as well as potentially introducing city-paid garbage carts to residents were brought to attention.
Butler discussed the impact of bringing an automated garbage truck to Perry.
“This is something I would say every community around has an automated truck - whether it’s their’s or they farm it out,” Butler said. “It’s a safety issue; back when we were looking at it when we had the change over - we had workmen’s comp. on our backs because we had a lot of injuries.”
Garbage men are regularly put at risk of hand-injuries or being struck by foreign objects inside a garbage bag.
“This route is a way to kind of eliminate the dangers of that,”Butler said. “One big danger we had - it’s happened twice I think - we’ve had two different employees that got stuck by needles that somebody threw in the bag.
“There’s a procedure for that because you don’t know where the needles came from, you don’t know what was on the needles - it’s a year long process of testing and shots, the biggest scare is H.I.V.”
Butler says the garbage carts could help eliminate the risk of potential injuries by employees in the future.
The council discussed the option of potentially obtaining garbage carts in the community.
“What we’re proposing is that the city buys everybody’s carts the first go-around,” said City Administrator, Sven Peterson. “This is kind of the the first blush to get us guidance, but there’s a lot of the administrative things that we need to figure out as far as policy of buying new carts.”
The carts come with a 10-year warranty and vary in size: 35 gallons - $45; 65 gallons - $53; 95 gallons - $55.
“The company that sells the carts will actually come out and deliver them, they’ll assemble them, set them out with a brochure or the city’s informational component, and then assign the serial numbers to an address,” Peterson said. “So we would have database of every single cart that we have in the address that it should be at.”
“If a cart is stolen, we have a way to be able to track that cart and what address it does belong to.”
The council also discussed recycling in the area, the success of the current system for yard waste, as well as spring clean up in the community.
The council later approved a motion to continue with the proposal to issue garbage equipment including residential carts, drop-sights for recycling and a garbage truck.
According to Peterson, the garbage and recycle proposal will continue to be a topic for discussion at future city council meetings.