Eagle edges toward curbside recycling | VailDaily.com

Eagle edges toward curbside recycling

EAGLE ” When surveyed back in 2006, Eagle residents showed strong support for a curbside recycling program in town. Their wishes may soon be realized.

After soliciting bids from local trash collection companies, the town received a proposal from Vail Honeywagon to take over the community’s refuse collection operation and add curbside recycling services. Honeywagon proposes charging $23.50 per month for single family service, up from the current town charge of $18 per month. The additional $5.50 will pay for recycling collection every other week.

Honeywagon would provide two 18-gallon plastic recycling bins to each single-family account ” one for paper products and one for aluminum, steel, plastic and glass.

“Frankly, the town staff is surprised at the price schedule and encouraged to move forward with contracting out trash hauling and offering the new curbside recycle service,” said Town Manager Willy Powell.

In addition to taking over the town’s trash collection routes, Honeywagon is interested in purchasing some of the town’s equipment ” trucks and Dumpsters. As for the two Eagle employees who currently work in trash collection, they would be reassigned to other Eagle public works jobs. The town would continue to bill residents for trash collection and then pay Honeywagon as a subcontractor.

Powell noted that the town still needs to iron out details of the Honeywagon proposal. If Eagle decides to go forward with a deal, the town needs to make sure residents know about the new trash collector and services. And, Powell stressed, there will be no looking back.

“Once the town gets out of the trash collection business, its almost certain we are never getting back into it,” said Powell.

Town board members were encouraged by the affordability of the Honeywagon proposal. When the town studied including curbside recycling, it estimated trash charges would have to increase to $30 per month.

Still, members noted the $5.50 increase, when combined with a proposed $3 increase in sewer fees and a small increase in the town’s mill levy, will cut into people’s incomes. The proposal will be the subject of a public hearing prior to adoption.

Town board members supported entering into a contract with the company.

“Public awareness is going to be a big deal,” said Trustee Yuri Kostick. “But I think this meets a need that scored very high on our survey.”

Town staff will meet with Matt Donovan of Vail Honeywagon to finalize the proposal and bring it back to the board for consideration. At the earliest, curbside recycling collecting would begin during the spring of 2009.

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