Council hears recommendation to allow curbside garbage pickup

KELOLAND.com Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Curbside garbage collection isn’t a go yet for Sioux Falls but it could be.

Several Sioux Falls City Council members said during an Oct. 12 informational meeting they weren’t against allowing curbside pickup of garbage but some also shared concerns.

In response to a presentation by the members of the city’s public works and the Solid Waste Planning Board (SWPB), council member Alex Jensen said that curbside was “absolutely an option” for the city.

Jensen believes allowing curbside placement of garbage containers would allow some smaller hauling companies to remain competitive.

Councilmember Janet Brekke said she’s worried the opposite could happen. She doesn’t want the city to make a move that would favor larger garbage haulers. Brekke said the recommendation to cap licenses for garbage haulers was also concerning. She would be reluctant to support that recommendation.

No decisions were made on Tuesday. The council asked the city/SWPB to clarify questions and concerns and return to the council.

Josh Peterson of the city’s environmental office said the recommendation is to cap licenses at one per 50,000 people. Under the current population that would mean four licenses in the city. But, the cap on licenses would only cover future licenses if a hauler quit or was bought by another existing license holder, Peterson said. The licenses for the existing 13 haulers would be valid until they quit or sold to another existing hauler, he said.

Peterson presented material from a community survey on garbage collection, input from garbage haulers and recommendations to move forward. About 58% of the respondents in a community survey said they wanted the option of curbside service. A majority of garbage haulers in the city also want the option, Peterson said.

The SWPB voted at its Aug. 23 quarterly meeting to recommend “the council revise existing container placement ordinance to allow containers to be placed adjacent to the structure or curbside on collection day subject to what the hauler and customer agree upon,” according to the meeting minutes.

The council has three options: To allow curbside collection but not mandate it, to allow curbside service but require residents to bring containers to the curb and require haulers to return them to the residence, or to keep only valet service, Peterson said in his presentation.

Valet service is where the hauler takes the garbage container from near the residence and returns it there.

Council member Greg Neitzert said he would not support the second option to require haulers to return a container place at the curbside. He leans to allowing curbside placement.

Neitzert said he does not favor a cap on licenses.

The council also discussed safety concerns related to curbside placement and valet service.

Council member Christine Erickson said the city does not allow brick mailboxes because they are a safety concern for drivers. Erickson asked if garbage containers at the curb would be a similar safety concern.

Two cars parked in a driveway or snow or ice on a driveway is also a safety concern for residents and haulers including when a hauler is providing curbside service, council member Rick Kiley said.

Other questions included exactly where containers would be placed at the curbside and if the city caps any other licenses besides medical marijuana and alcohol.

The council did have a directive to garbage haulers and residents Tuesday. The city’s ban on curbside placement of garbage exists and needs to be followed.

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