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    It’s Monday morning, you roll your solid waste and recycling carts out to the curb. When you come home, you find your trash can empty, but youour recycling cart is still full. A quick call to the city reveals that your recycling pickup day does not coincide with your trash pickup. Your frustration mounts.
    Not to worry, Jerry Dietzen, the director of solid waste, has put together a new plan that will not only merge pickup days together, but will also result in savings to the city. Dietzen unveiled the plan at the city council’s work session on June 2.
    Dietzen, who joined the city two years ago, explained that when he joined the city staff he found a great number of inefficiencies within the department. The inefficiencies were a result of substantial growth in the city from the construction of new subdivisions and annexation. Dietzen said that the department added new routes without changing existing customer’s pickup days, which resulted in the inefficiencies.
    {mosimage}The current map of the city’s waste pickup route reflects those inefficiencies. “As you can see, our drivers are all over the city on each day of the week,” explained Dietzen. On any given day the current pick-up schedule has drivers going from one end of the city to the other, while bypassing neighborhoods in the middle of the city. Dietzen said the new pick-up schedule will do two things: first, the new system combines routes into geographic locations, and second it puts the solid waste and recycling pickup on the same day. The new pick-up schedule is scheduled to go into effect on July 14.         He explained that the new routes will result in a number of efficiencies for the city, including a reduced number of routes, which will result in reduced travel time, fuel savings and maintenance costs.
Additionally, the uniformity of the routes will allow the call center to better assist customers because garbage vehicles will be in one central area. Dietzen said representatives will be able to pinpoint problems in that area and notify the crews in the area, whereas in the past a problem might have been identified after the crews had left the area and moved onto another area of the city.
    Supervisors are currently in the field testing the new routes, which were computer generated. The new schedule will affect 75 to 80 percent of the city’s residents. Pickups will be on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Council members questioned whether any plans had been put in place to deal with problems caused by Monday holidays. No changes have been made at this time.


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