The City of Beatrice began providing garbage collection services through Midwest Area Refuse Solutions (MARS) on Monday, and the City Council heard an update on how the services went during its meeting that evening.
Landfill Superintendent Jason Moore said a couple of residences were missed, but that overall the services went remarkably well.
“Not everybody knows every street,” Moore explained. “I provided them with maps, and I drew little arrows to help them out a little bit so that they can get along this morning on the residential routes here in town. I know there were a few spots that we missed, but I think we did really well for the first day. Again, our rear loaders were done with picking up cardboard by probably 9:30, 10 o’clock. They moved to commercial rear loaders, and they were done by 2:15ish, probably. Today was a pretty big day.”
Moore said the Monday’s route included the area around Mosaic from Sixth over to 11th streets, and High Street north to Logan between 4th and 6th streets, the Glenover area, Hoyle trailer park, and the Bear Creek subdivision. He said Tuesday’s route is easier, as it covers mostly through streets.
City administrator Tobias Tempelmeyer thanked everyone in the city offices who have fielded questions from the public regarding garbage collection.
“There will be certain areas that we know we’ll probably have to go and change, whether it’s changing the day that their pickup is because Jason comes back and says ‘we have too many guys on Monday and not enough on Tuesday’, so we’ll move some around. We’ll look at alleys, as well, and say after we’ve done this, which ones make sense, which ones can we get our truck into, which ones can we not get it into. We will constantly be reviewing everything that we’re doing to try to make it as efficient to run, and for the people, as well,” Tempelmeyer said.
During the Board of Public Works meeting last Wednesday, Moore said containers should be placed as close to a residents' driveway as possible, and directly behind the curb if it's a flat surface.
Moore said that a lot of containers were blocked behind cars or too far away from the curb, causing the truck drivers to get out and move them.
Tempelmeyer said there will probably be leniency with collecting containers not placed correctly for the first couple weeks, as both the city and residents learn how to utilize the new service.
The council also approved two contracts for garbage collection services, one for the village of Courtland, and one for the village of Daykin.
Tempelmeyer explained that the contract Courtland had with Sanitary Garbage Services went through June of this year, so the city took over that contract with plans to make a new bid of service once that retired. He said the contract Daykin had with Sanitary Garbage was older, so they signed a new contract for Beatrice to do their garbage collection for the next five years.
Council member Tim Fralin questioned why the garbage collection rates for Beatrice residents are higher than some of the surrounding areas the city is collecting for.
“The rates have not increased under Sanitary Garbage’s contracts, oftentimes for an extended period of time,” Tempelmeyer said. “We can’t go into those communities and ask for significant price increases at one time. Every one of our contracts says that we will be back to ask for price increases. It’s up to their village board, obviously, to agree. They can’t not agree if it’s a reasonable ask: 50 cents, a dollar, something like that. Ten dollars is not probably going to be agreeable. Those types of things are what we’re going to look to do over time to slowly bring those communities up.”