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Local

Morris residents could get new trash containers next year

MORRIS – Residents using Republic Services garbage pickup in the city of Morris could see a few improvements next year if the city decides to renew a four-year contract with the company.

The Morris Street and Alley Committee Wednesday discussed renewing the contract with Hank Potts, Municipal Services Manager for Republic Services.

As part of the discussions, Potts said the company would provide residents with new garbage totes to replace their regular, black garbage bins next year.

The new bins would be larger, at 96 gallons, and residents’ old bins would be converted to yard waste containers. Republic would provide decals to place on the old bins to designate them for yard materials.

“Those residents that, in the past, were buying biodegradable bags won’t have to any more,” Potts said. “They’ll be able to put it in the toter and we’ll dump it for them.”

Potts added the larger bins will make pickup more efficient since several residents currently have overflowing bins.

“If I put the larger toters out, we will be more efficient,” Potts said.

There would be no changes to the recycling program or recycling bins.

Morris Mayor Richard Kopczick said he liked the improvement because it would ensure that all residents’ yard waste would be picked up before composting facilities close Nov. 30.

“We don’t pick up [yard waste] because the facilities close and they have nowhere to take it,” Kopczick said during the meeting. “This way, that problem can be managed.”

Republic also is looking into changing some routes for next year to make the pickup process more efficient.

“We have a little bit of a problem on the one-way streets,” Potts said.

Because of the way the trucks are designed, picking up on consecutive one-way streets is problematic for drivers, Potts said. He said they are looking into breaking up the one-ways by redesigning some of the routes, which would save drivers time and money.

Alderman and committee member Randy Larson raised concerns about the amount of money the city pays for fuel. He suggests the city pay a year-over-year average of diesel prices instead of locking in at April’s fuel prices, which is what the city currently does.

The committee did not approve the contract at Wednesday’s meeting in order to discuss it further.

Potts said the city has several weeks before it has to make a decision.

“I like to start this process now,” Potts said. “We have time to talk. We have time to think, and we have time to do this in an intelligent matter.”

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