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Check out some recent Registered Statements from forum participants

Miriam Atkinson inside Area East of Rocky Ridge/Altadena Area July 13, 2020, 2:32 PM

Accepting the lowest bid must reflect equivalent services for sanitation services. The stink from once a week garbage pick up would be awful especially in the hot summer heat.
Miriam Atkinson

Name not shown inside Area East of Rocky Ridge/Altadena Area July 2, 2020, 11:19 AM

I applaud the city for soliciting multiple options from the vendor and for allowing residents to provide input on this issue. We are fortunate to have leaders who consider and value our residents' broad range of opinions. I recommend OPTIONS D or G. Given the expense of recycling, I believe that residents who wish to recycle should have the option to pay for that service, but if city leadership determines that the city should pay for this service, then Option G would be a good alternative.

Robert West inside Area West of Rocky Ridge July 1, 2020, 10:51 AM

First, I am opposed to taking money from trash collection services to pay for additional personnel in public services budget. If the additional personnel are justified (a Big IF), they should not come at the expense of other public services - trash collection. Second, Option G would be preferred. Twice-a-week collection is essential. The Option with twice-a-week collection with “on demand” recycle ( you are shifting the cost of recycle to us, the citizens!!), is.a poor second choice.

Linda Campbell inside Area West of Rocky Ridge June 30, 2020, 5:24 PM

We would like services to remain as they are with two times per week and back door options. My husband has medical condition and the back door service has been great. I think we need two times a week for pick up, otherwise our streets will look junky as some leave trash out front waiting for pick up. Recycle either way ( with regular trash or separated) is ok with us. Thanks for the opportunity for input

Name not shown inside Area West of Rocky Ridge June 30, 2020, 3:49 PM

Please keep the twice a week pickup. I prefer Option D or Option G. I would rather have some additional police and firefighters instead of a recycling program. I think most of it ends up in the landfill anyway because so many (well-meaning) people put Non-recyclable plastics, plastic grocery bags, Pizza boxes, glass, etc which ruins the whole lot.

TODD BENNINGHOFF inside Liberty Park June 29, 2020, 7:22 PM

it seems that the big issue remains-"Recycling. We all love Vestavia Hills!!! Lets keep it looking good by retaining a minimum ("Two Day per Week Service). We don't need a large percentage of residents requesting "Two Trash Containers" for 1 day a week service. You would have the streets lined with double the amount of Trash Cans.... We can't do away with the Two day a week trash service. I'd rather do away with Recycling. It seems that this service is a continuing issue for a multitude of reasons. Some out of our control. I request "Option G"

Name not shown inside Cahaba Heights June 29, 2020, 12:51 PM

I have read about ½ of the statements already posted and gained some understanding of the variety of opinions & needs that exist. It would be great if our system AND the people could find a consensus rather than simple majority rule.

With regard to recycling, we are meant to be good stewards of our planet—use resources responsibly and don’t trash the place. I believe that means minimizing waste, reuse/recycle whenever possible, and being careful how we dispose of what we don’t want. As a part of the whole vendor selection process, we should evaluate how well any waste collection service accomplishes those goals. Low bid should not be the sole criteria.

With regard to times per week, I’ll accept the inconvenience of once per week if it really means additional first responders; however, once-a-week pickup of mixed trash, garbage, & recycling would require all 3 large cans for me and the only place I can put cans out is in my driveway. Difficulty getting in & out of the driveway would increase two or three times on collection days. Based on many comments I read, once-a-week pickup is genuinely insufficient for many people.

I also agree in principle that there should be better ways to fund adequate first responders than reducing costs in just one area. That said, adamantly sticking with the ideal often can’t produce results. Sometimes things just are what they are.

Name not shown inside Area East of Rocky Ridge/Altadena Area June 27, 2020, 3:49 PM

Please don't take away twice a week garbage pick. We pay the highest property taxes in the state of Alabama. Cutting back on garbage service and other services should not be necessary.

Keith Johns inside Area West of Rocky Ridge June 27, 2020, 8:12 AM

Apologies for the length.

Under Options A,B,C,D, and E, where would the recyclables be processed? By whom?

None of the options encourage waste reduction. The city’s best long-term option is to encourage people to put less stuff at the curb. Fewer cans of trash = less tons to the landfill = lower cost. The chosen vendor should be required to promote options for better waste management, and perhaps be incentivized to reduce the city’s cost via annual reviews of tonnage. City and vendor can split the savings.

Keep in mind that recycling is a commodity business and presently the demand for recyclables - and the price they fetch - is very low. This is likely a behind some of the cost increases put forward by all haulers. Structure the contract to take advantage of the turnaround in commodity prices, which will happen. Today’s high cost is likely to be reduced or eliminated when markets rebound, as they are for paper (40% of waste stream). Position the city to benefit when the prices rebound, not leave all those extra profits to the hauler and/or processor.

In the waste-to-energy model proposed by Amwaste, Vestavia Hills loses insight into how much material is actually diverted from landfills, and no longer contributes to the growing industry in Alabama that uses recyclable material as raw material for manufacturing (>10,000 jobs in Alabama). And Amwaste has no incentive to maximize real recycling. The Montgomery processing center will make daily decisions on how the components of the waste stream are handled, based on what is most profitable that day. That may often be burning + landfill.

I agree with residents who argue that trash 2x/week is most sanitary, particularly those with large families. Perhaps instead of charging for on demand recycling, charge instead for those who opt for a second weekly trash collection, or a second cart. This supports the goal of waste reduction, and lowers/offsets city cost.

From a responsible environmental management perspective, the Amwaste/Repower solution is less than ideal. Waste-to-energy is not recycling, and is barely a step above landfilling. Recycled paper is much more valuable to the world as more paper than it is as fuel. The world’s largest recycler of plastics is in Troy AL. Burned trash includes pesticides, household chemicals, and other toxins that are not easily scrubbed out of the emissions. The fact that the service is so cheap should say something. We can do better.

Maintain status quo-ish: Option A, with B or C secondary. But get creative. The increase in public safety items/personnel is great, but I agree with others that this community can have both great public safety and great environmental health.

Name not shown inside Area West of Rocky Ridge June 26, 2020, 11:57 PM

My family likes our current service however I am for saving a little money. I like the idea of not separating recycling, assuming recycling is still happening. Therefor I think Option G would be best. We are a family of 5 and reducing pickup to anything less than 2 times a week will not help us. I also feel like we should not be asking citizens to pay extra for recycling with all the money we pay for taxes. I think we will see a large reduction in households participating if that is the case. I also do not want to have to manage 2 to 3 trash cans just to have a place for my trash. I don't have room to store them and like others have said, it will attract rodents and the smell will be terrible. If G is not selected my preference would be A then B