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Published: Wednesday, 8/3/2005

Perrysburg: Halt to apartment garbage pickups being considered

BY RACHEL ZINN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Perrysburg officials are considering discontinuing garbage pickup service for some apartment complexes.

Administrators are proposing an ordinance halting garbage collection from buildings with more than four apartments. City Council discussed the issue for the first time last week, and officials said they plan to contact local apartment complex owners and hold public hearings on the possible policy change later this summer.

"This is going to be very controversial to the owners of the apartment buildings," Councilman Kevin Rantanen said.

The city collects trash at the curbside from all homes and from trash bins at all apartment complexes. Officials said garbage pickup from apartment buildings is costly, time consuming, and unusual in other area municipalities.

The city would save money long-term by stopping the service because there would be less wear on garbage trucks, officials said, and there would be an immediate savings through the reduction of fees charged on each ton of trash dumped at area landfills. By not putting apartment trash in landfills, officials believe Perrysburg would save at least $52,000 annually.

If the garbage collection policy is changed, officials said the city would save money on personnel costs because the collection routes would take less time.

"This will increase our efficiency in the trash collection and save costs at the same time," said John Alexander, city administrator.

Under the new policy, apartments in buildings with four or less units would be required to put trash by the curb for pickup instead of in a trash bin. A similar rule would apply to all condominiums, regardless of how many units are in the building.

"Our rule would essentially outlaw Dumpsters unless they are owned by the city of Perrysburg," Mr. Alexander said.

Trash collection would then be the responsibility of apartment complex owners, condominium associations, or the individual condominium owners.

Perrysburg administrators told council they contacted Maumee, Oregon, Sylvania, and Bowling Green about their garbage collection policies. None of these cities has pickup service that collects trash from buildings with more than five apartments.

Even if the city discontinues trash pickup for apartment buildings, Perrysburg will still need a 1-mill replacement garbage collection levy on the November ballot, Finance Director Dave Creps said.

"The savings will be in the long term in that our costs will not increase, rather than seeing our costs substantially decrease," Mr. Creps said.



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