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John Nephew

Maplewood City Council Policy & Politics


Yesterday's First Working Group Meeting

The first meeting of the trash working group yesterday finished early. We discussed the general process moving forward, and then heard some detailed information about hauler hardware, in particular automated pickup and the question of truck axle weights.

The consensus of the working group was that we did not wish to see an organized collection plan mandate specific equipment. Automated machinery can be more efficient (and sharply reduce workman's comp expenses), but haulers should be able to price that into their proposals as they see fit, whether they have fully automated pickup or not, as best suits their individual business plans. Automated pickup may be able to accomplish things such as weight-based pricing (by actually tracking the weight of trash as its picked up from each house). The technology exists, but that does not appear to be commercially feasible or generally available at the present time, so it's not something that could be a realistic requirement in the RFP being developed.

On the question of axle weights, we generally agreed that this was also an area where we did not want to be overly specific, except to say that trucks would be expected to comply with applicable weight limits that already exist in the law.

Something I was especially pleased to learn was that the process envisions not only development of a general plan of organization, but actually having hauler proposals in hand before the City Council makes the final decision on whether or not to organize.  This will make it possible to compare a very specific proposed arrangement, including prices for residents for various service levels, with the current arrangement.


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