Vevay to end trash bag program January 2nd

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One of the most controversial programs in Vevay history will officially come to an end on Saturday, January 2nd, as the Vevay Town Council has announced that town residents will no longer need to use “Vevay Trash Bags” in order to set out their trash.

The program, instituted in October of 1994, was at that time seen as a way of not only encouraging town residents to recycle, but was also a way of providing a sliding fee for trash collection based on usage – the more bags of trash you had, the more you paid.

But the program caused a stir in the community, as residents never warmed up to the idea of paying $7.50 for a roll of 10 trash bags; a situation which has caused town residents, at times, to find other means of disposing of their trash.

Now, 15 years after it began, the Vevay Town Council is now ending the practice as of the first trash collection of 2010.

The decision is an economic one for the town, as the cost of the trash bags has grown, but that increase has not been passed on to residents. The cost of a roll of bags has stayed the same for the entire length of the program. In addition, as town residents found other ways of disposing of their trash – such as illegally placing it in public receptacles around the community – that meant that they weren’t purchasing trash bags, which cost the town more money.

As costs rose and those costs weren’t passed on, the town council began to see itself going deeper and deeper into the hole with the program. Town Council President Tye Sullivan said that the town lost $9,463.92 in 2007; $11,973.32 in 2008 – and is projecting that it will lose $17,785 this year.

Those shortfalls had to be made up by the town council using Riverboat Revenues; so the elimination of the program will allow those funds to now be redirected to other town projects.

Tye Sullivan said that the town will continue its recycling program, which allows residents to recycle items rather than place them in trash bags.

“The recycling program will stay the same, with recyclables being collected on the first and third Fridays of each month,” Tye Sullivan said. “The main difference is that residents will now be allowed to use trash bags of their choosing rather than specific town bags.”

Tye Sullivan said that there are some restrictions in the new program, such as the requirement that trash be placed in disposable plastic bags of 1.5-millimeters in thickness (the average trash bags purchased at a store meet this standard); and that the bags can be of any size up to 33 gallons. This allows those living on their own, who don’t produce much trash, to use smaller trash bags.

There is a limit of five bags per week at each household. If a resident puts out more than five bags, the overage will be left.

Also leaving is the yellow large item tag that residents used to have to purchase to have things such as appliances and furniture hauled away.

Tye Sullivan said that those stickers will not be eliminated, but residents may put only one large item out per week.

Regular trash pickup will remain on every Friday.

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Tye Sullivan said that there is a change in the holiday collection schedule that everyone needs to be aware of.

Since Christmas Day and New Year’s Day fall on Fridays, trash collection in the town of Vevay will occur on Saturday, December 26th; and Saturday, January 2nd. Collection in town will begin both days at 6 a.m.

On Saturday, December 26th, the current trash ordinance requiring the use of Vevay trash bags will still be in effect, so everyone needs to use up their bags at that time.

The new program, which allows for any bag as long as it meets the thickness requirement, will start with the January 2nd trash pickup.

“You would still be able to use your Vevay trash bags on January 2nd and thereafter,” Tye Sullivan said. “But they just won’t be part of the program. Our suggestion is for residents to try and use up all of their remaining Vevay trash bags by the end of the year.”

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The other side of the new trash program is that there will be a new trash collection fee added to the utility bill of each homeowner in Vevay beginning with the January, 2010, statement.

Beginning next month, residents will see a monthly fee of $13.65 on their utility bill, which will cover the cost of the trash pickup. This fee was offset in the past – partially – by the purchasing of bags; so the town council feels that the end result will have residents seeing very little difference in their monthly out go, using the former trash bag money to pay the monthly fee.

In fact, larger families who used more trash bags in the past will see very little change – and may even save money.

The town council estimates show that a person who currently sets out two bags of trash each week, or eight per month, will only see an increase of 90-cents between the purchasing of bags and paying the new monthly fee.

Those setting out 10 bags of trash each month, for example, will actually see a savings of 60-cents per month.

The higher fees pertain to those who produce very little trash on a weekly or monthly basis.

The estimates show that a person who now uses one bag a month will see a net increase of $6.15 per month; two bags an increase of $5.40 per month; three bags an increase of $4.65 per month; and four bags (one per week), will see a net increase of $3.90 per month.

Currently, everyone is paying a set fee of $6.75 per month, with the remainder being offset by the purchase of bags; so the increases are based off of raising that figure.

For more information, call Vevay Town Hall at 427-3131.