Trash and recycling pickup days won't change for Cape residents

Friday, November 6, 2009
Armor Equipment demonstrates the automated curbside trash and recycling pickup service that is being proposed for the city during an informational session with the Public Works Department Thursday, Sept. 17, 2009, at the Senior Center in Cape Girardeau. (Kit Doyle)

With the Cape Girardeau City Council's decision to move ahead with automated trash and recycling pickup, the publicity campaign to educate residents about the change is underway.

On Monday evening, the council approved spending $2.3 million to buy six trucks and 22,000 new trash bins for distribution to residents. The switch won't require a rate increase to pay the bonds that will finance the program.

In a news release issued Wednesday, the city reminded residents that trash and recycling pickup days will not change. Also, all materials currently allowed for recycling will continue to be accepted at curbside except for glass, which may not be placed in the new bins that will eliminate the need for separating recyclable materials by type.

This map submitted by the city of Cape Giradreau shows the trash and recycling pickup schedule when automated pickup begins next year.

"In reality, not a lot is changing except for using the carts that we provide and putting all the recycling together except for glass," said Tim Gramling, director of the Public Works Department.

In all, the city collects trash and recyclables from 11,000 residences each week. Each home will receive two new bins -- one 64-gallon container for trash and one 96-gallon container for recyclables. The city plans to send notices to each trash customer about the change and offer the opportunity for residents who dispose of smaller amounts of trash to select a smaller bin. Because of the cost associated with picking up trash, a smaller bin will not mean a smaller monthly trash bill, Gramling said.

The number of people requesting smaller bins will determine whether the city offers them, Gramling said. "We would like to get as many of those as we can before we make the order so we don't get the wrong sizes," he said.

For families that dispose of more trash than can be accommodated in the single bin, the city will offer to sell a second bin at cost, about $40, to the resident, Gramling said. Buying a second bin will also mean a doubling of the $16.75 monthly solid waste charge on city bills.

The city allows virtually all kinds of materials to be set out for recycling. Paper, including newspapers, junk mail and magazines, are allowed with staples removed. Cardboard, except for pizza boxes and egg cartons, can be set out for recycling. Plastics except for egg cartons, tape cases and bottle caps are acceptable, as are aluminum, tin and steel cans except for aerosol cans.

Recycling days are not the same as the days trash is collected. The city collects trash from residences four days a week. For people who put trash out Monday, recycling is collected Thursday. For those who have a Tuesday trash collection, Friday is recycling day. Thursday trash customers put their recyclables on the curb Monday, and homes with Friday trash collection receive recycling pickup service on Tuesdays.

Until the change is made in the spring, residents must continue to separate recyclables by type and bundle or bag them separately for pickup.

Glass for recycling will be accepted at drop-off points at city fire stations, the Osage Community Centre, 1625 N. Kingshighway, and the Public Works Department building, 2007 Southern Expressway.

"The goal is to do what we have been doing better and cheaper," Gramling said. "Anything we do that is additional service comes with a need for more equipment and more people, and it has to be something the council needs us to do or the citizens want."


Pertinent addresses:

1625 N. Kingshighway, Cape Girardeau, MO

2007 Southern Expressway, Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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