Prairie Village residents will be getting new garbage carts just in time for Christmas as the city switches to a new hauler.
This summer, the City Council approved a 10-year contract with Republic Services to take over the city’s residential garbage collection from longtime contractor Deffenbaugh Industries. That contract begins Jan. 1.
On Monday, Assistant City Administrator Wes Jordan told council members that staff is working with Republic on how to transition the city’s 8,400 residential customers to the new company — which will require replacing almost 17,000 plastic carts that residents use to leave their trash and recycling materials at the curb for pickup.
Jordan said Rehrig Pacific Co. in De Soto is building the carts and that Republic plans to deliver them to residents’ homes between Dec. 15 and 22. He said the company and city staff wanted to avoid doing it during the week of Christmas when many residents may be out of town.
Because Deffenbaugh’s contract doesn’t expire until the end of the year, residents will temporarily have to find space for both companies’ trash and recycling bins, Jordan said. City regulations require homeowners to screen their trash bins from the street, but he said the city will waive those rules during the transition period.
Jordan said the city has so far not received firm plans on when and how Deffenbaugh will collect its trash bins from residents. City officials chose to replace Deffenbaugh, which had been its trash hauler since 2002, after repeated customer service problems.
Homeowners will be able to choose one of three sizes of trash and recycling bins from Republic: 35 gallons, 65 gallons or 95 gallons. All three sizes are included in the rates property owners already pay for trash service.
Jordan said Republic and the city will likely mail residents information in November on ordering their new trash bins and other details of the transition.
He acknowledged that the logistics of swapping out so many trash bins will likely be a challenge for Prairie Village’s limited staff, but “with the challenges we face on a daily basis with our current provider, hopefully we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.”
In other business:
▪ The City Council voted to fine-tune new regulations that give wireless companies greater leeway in locating equipment along city streets and other public right-of-way.
Councilmembers on Oct. 3 voted to amend its ordinances to reflect a new state law taking away much of local governments’ ability to regulate wireless equipment in the right-of-way. While following the state’s requirements, the council added some restrictions, including requiring that all new wireless equipment be located underground when possible.
They also required that companies get a conditional use permit from the city Planning Commission to build utility boxes that were larger than 12 square feet or 54 inches tall above ground.
On Monday, the council sought to close a loophole that would have allowed smaller utility boxes to be built above ground with few restrictions. Now, companies wanting to build boxes smaller than 12 square feet and 54 inches tall above ground will need approval from the city public works department.
The changes also would prevent companies from building new equipment above ground in residents’ front yards.
▪ The council approved the purchase of a new backup generator for the city Police Department from Mark One Electric Inc. for about $60,000. The existing generator, which keeps the department running during power outages, is 20 years old and has reached its maximum lifespan, city officials said.
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