City Council Forms Subcommittee on Waste Collector

Chavez and Yu will sit on Athens ad hoc committee.

Written by RANDY SHUN / Published December 11, 2009

An ad hoc committee with the city’s trash collector, Athens Services, has been formed.

Temple City mayor pro tempore Vincent Yu and councilman Tom Chavez will sit on the subcommittee.

The council members, appointed during the August 4, 2009 city council meeting, will meet with representatives of Athens. The objective of the ad hoc committee is to study the current trash collection service.

Dennis Chiapetta, executive vice-president of Athens, was present Tuesday evening.

Chiapetta gave an overview of the current trash pick-up service and informed the city council about the issues related to landfill closures and the Temple City’s trash diversion rate.

Similar to the letter Chiapetta sent to interim city manager Cathy Burroughs, the executive proposed a couple alternatives to the current waste collection service: one day a week pick-up or automated trash collection. Athens could also impose a variable can rate.

With a variable can rate, “those who have more waste will pay more, those who have less waste will pay less,” Chiapetta said.

If Temple City were to switch to an automatic system, eighteen to twenty thousand new 90-gallon containers would be required. The containers would be paid for by Athens, but the costs would be built into the trash fees residents pay. In addition, Athens would need to purchase three to four new natural gas vehicles.

“We could survey the residents and find out what they really want” he suggested.

Chiapetta also recommended the city council form a subcommittee to discuss any trash-related issue.

When asked by mayor pro tempore Yu what other cities, besides Temple City, had an evergreen contract, Chiapetta responded that South El Monte was the only other city with an exclusive evergreen contract.

The city currently has a 30-year evergreen contract with Athens.

In August 2005, a previous city council unanimously approved an agreement with the trash collector. Temple City previously had a 15-year contract with the trash hauler.

Because an evergreen contract renews itself every year, the terms of the current agreement with Athens will not expire until 2039.

While some residents lauded the city council actions, others expressed caution against changing the status quos.

Linda Payne, Temple City Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, asked the city council to not allow trash collection be reduced to one day a week.

“The business district would have a really hard time with once a week,” Payne said.

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