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BE residents have their choice

By Staff | Oct 5, 2014

Got garbage?

If you live in Blue Earth, several companies are competing to help you dispose of all that household waste.

In fact, there are seven companies who have each paid a $118 garbage hauling license fee to the city of Blue Earth for the privilege of picking up your refuse.

And, residents are free to shop around and can choose which one they want to have haul away the trash.

For many years, Waste Management was the top hauler in Blue Earth. Residents purchase 10 yellow Waste Management bags at a time, putting as many out at the curb as they wished.

Citizens of Blue Earth can still do that, say Blue Earth City Hall employees Sue Hauskins – office manager, and Nancy Thompson – deputy city clerk.

“People do not have to make a change,” Hauskins says. “The yellow Waste Management bags can still be used if they wish to.”

Lately, however, a new company called Hometown Sanitation Services has been granted a license to haul garbage in the city, says Thompson.

This new company has been running full page ads in the Faribault County Register advertising their services, causing some confusion among residents as to whether they need to change how they dispose of their garbage or can keep the service they have.

“Actually, residents can contract with any one of the seven companies who are licensed in the city to have their garbage picked up,” says Thompson. “The city does not have any one company that we specify.”

She adds that residents contract individually with the garbage hauler and pay that company directly. No garbage hauling fee is on the city utility bill.

In the case of the yellow bags from Waste Management, the fee is paid by purchasing the bags at a cost of $30 for 10 bags.

For other companies, the resident would receive a monthly statement from the company itself.

Mike Johnson, co-owner and general manager of Hometown Sanitation, says his company uses large rolling carts instead of bags. He says the carts could be a money-saver for Blue Earth residents.

“If a household is using more than one bag per week, carts will save them money,” Johnson says. “Even if a household only uses one bag a week, the total cost will be about the same, and rolling carts are much more convenient to use.”

Hometown Sanitation Services started signing up customers on Sept. 15. They began delivery of the rolling carts the last week of September and their first pickup of garbage in the city began this past Thursday, Oct. 2.

Besides Waste Management and Hometown Sanitation, the other five licensed garbage haulers in the city of Blue Earth are:

B & B Sanitation

Thompson Sanitation, Inc.

Hansen Sanitation, Inc.

Peterson Refuse and Demo

Mike’s Trailer Rental

Both Hauskins and Thompson have been answering numerous phone calls at City Hall from citizens who have questions about their garbage collection, or about recycling.

“Right when we have a new garbage company advertising their services, Waste Management is also changing the way we recycle,” Hauskins says. “People are very confused about all this.”

Thompson says an information sheet about the new way to recycle is going out with the monthly utility bills from Blue Earth Light and Water.

As opposed to garbage hauling, the city of Blue Earth does contract with just one recycling company Waste Management, Thompson says.

“People will continue to get a monthly charge on their utility bill for recycling,” Thompson says. “That money goes to the city and the city pays Waste Management for recycling service, just like it always has.”

However, the way recycling works is changing, Hauskins adds.

“We won’t be using the yellow cans anymore,” she says. “Waste Management is going to deliver a new large rolling cart to each residence to use for recycling.”

The carts are green with yellow lids and will be delivered the week of Oct. 27.

Now residents will be able to put all of their recyclables in one cart and there is no need to sort anything.

That is not the only change. The day of the week for recycling pickup will be changing, also. On every other Monday, everything south of Seventh Street will be picked up. On every other Tuesday, both sides of Seventh Street and everything north of Seventh Street will be picked up.

The new recycling pickup will begin the week of Nov. 3.

Hometown Sanitation had also made a proposal to the Blue Earth City Council to become the official recycling collector for the city.

However, the council chose to sign a new three-year contract with Waste Management instead.