Changes are coming soon to garbage and recycling pickup within the city of Maple Valley.
After going through a competitive process, the City Council approved the selection of Recology CleanScapes to take over the city’s hauling contract effective Sept. 1.
As the date for the change draws near, residents are receiving information from Recology about the upcoming change.
Welcome packets were mailed to residents as well as businesses Aug. 8 outlining cart options and costs, as well as an overview of what can be recycled, what can be classified as food and yard waste, and what is considered garbage. There’s also as a collection calendar.
“I’ve already got an email or two that people are receiving them,” Diana Pistoll, public works programs coordinator for the city, said.
In addition, Recology’s website for the city, recologycleanscapes.com/maplevalley, is now live.
“The service starts on Sept. 1, which just happens to be a Monday, and that works out in the benefit of the customers and the hauler…for billing and everything it’s really kind of nice,” Pistoll said.
So far, Pistoll said the transition is going smoothly with Recology and the city’s current hauler, Waste Management, coordinating the transition.
“Everything is humming along just fine with the transition,” Pistoll said.
One of the biggest changes that will effect residents is a change in collection days for some households.
“We always let the hauler determine the route schedule because they really do that for routing efficiency,” Pistoll said. “Some people may be changing from one day to the next, but it’s not everybody.”
Garbage is still on a weekly residential pickup schedule and recycling and yard waste will be picked up on alternating weeks.
Carts will stay the same under the new hauler, since under the Waste Management contract the city owns the carts. Beginning in mid September, Recology will be adding new stickers to the carts. The carts will be replaced as they wear out or as residents request a different cart size.
Also under the new contract, Pistoll said that residents would see their rates go down “a bit,” and that customer service hours will be extended to seven days a week.
“The extended customer service hours, I think, is a big deal,” Pistoll said. “It can lead to frustration when a customer can’t get ahold of their hauler if they have a question.”
One of the areas where questions still remain, Pistoll added, is with final billing with Waste Management. She explained that during the garbage cycle residents are usually paying one month ahead.
“Any billing questions about their (resident’s) Waste Management bill or paying their last bill need to be addressed to Waste Management,” Pistoll said.
As for the changeover itself, come Sept. 1, Pistoll is anticipating a smooth transition.
“The drivers are already driving routes — not in garbage trucks — to get familiar with routes, so on Sept. 1 we can hopefully keep misses down really low,” Pistoll said.
Pistoll said she remembered when the city last changed haulers in 2007 and she said that transition was more complicated because 17,000 carts had to be delivered.
“I’m really anticipating a smooth roll out,” Pistoll said.