A major change in garbage service in Sparks is in the works.
Residents will be able to put material for recycling into one large container, eliminating the need to sort it into separate crates, in what’s called single-stream recycling. But residents will no longer be allowed to place additional bags of trash outside for pickup each week.
The change is part of a proposal under discussion by officials from the city and Waste Management, the company that has an exclusive agreement to provide trash service in Sparks. The City Council on Monday reviewed the company’s proposed changes to its franchise agreement with the city.
Both sides would like to work out the changes as soon as possible, City Manager Stephen Driscoll said in an interview with the Sparks Tribune.
Residents are now allowed to place as many as six additional bags of trash next their garbage can for pickup every week. The proposed changes would end that practice in an effort to increase recycling through the single-stream system.
To compensate for this loss, Waste Management proposes to mail residents 20 stickers that can be used for the free pickup of extra garbage. Additionally, residents will have four weeks in the spring and again in the fall to place six bags, boxes or bundles next to their cans on their garbage day without using a tag and will get up to four free trips to the dump in Lockwood or the company’s transfer stations in Sparks and Reno.
Driscoll said the spring and fall trash pickups would be the primary difference between the Sparks proposal and Waste Management’s single-stream recycling agreement with the city of Reno.
“That was a big deal for us,” he said.
Additional recyclable material, including cardboard and more types of plastic, would be collected under the proposed plan. Customers would receive a new 96-gallon container or tote for recycling only.
Waste Management officials said they would develop a website to explain the program, and upon approval by the city, will send a mailer to each resident informing them of the change and the timetable for implementing it.
The six additional bags of trash that can now be collected each week will continue through the rest of the year, the company proposed, with the annual allotment of stickers mailed thereafter.
The proposal also calls for a 2 percent decrease in rates for commercial customers because officials say they have been subsidizing the cost of residential service for years. Residential rates would be increased by nearly $1 per month to eliminate the subsidy and to cover the costs of implementing the single-stream recycling program.
Waste Management’s proposal also includes:
Extending the franchise agreement an additional 10 years. The current agreement expires in 2118.
Establishing a process to measure and bill for apartments and other multi-unit residential buildings. Property managers will decide whether garbage service is included in the rent or whether residents have to set up their own individual service.
Eliminating the limit on free garbage service to city facilities.
Prohibiting new trash haulers that compete in the market for certain commercial customers from doing business in the city. Existing haulers would continue to operate and be allowed to expand.