(Courtesy of Syracuse Haulers)
The village of North Syracuse has renewed its garbage collection agreement with Syracuse Haulers, but trash day could be a bit different this year. The North Syracuse Village Board of Trustees voted May 10 to award the trash bid to Syracuse Haulers, but the board has yet to decide whether it will go with traditional, manual collection or automated trash pickup and single-stream recycling.
Rocky Grosso, owner of Syracuse Haulers, told the board that municipalities are slowly moving toward automated trash collection.
“There’s a benefit to homeowners and taxpayers with providing this new service in a couple different ways,” Grosso said. “One, it would be containing all the trash and all the recycling in two receptacles. So that means there would be no birds flying in there or other animals getting in the trash.”
Instead of a worker hopping out to heave garbage into the collection area, residents would see trucks outfitted with automated hydraulic arms picking up their bins and emptying them. Syracuse Haulers would provide each residence with a wheeled trash bin and a recycling bin. Residents would choose a 95-gallon trash cart, which holds three to six kitchen-size trash bags, or a 65-gallon cart, which holds one to three bags. Recycling carts hold 65 gallons.
Grosso said many people put their trash out in bags instead of in cans or bins, which leaves trash exposed to the elements and wildlife. Another perk of automated collection, Grosso said, is the convenience of rolling the bins to and from the curb rather than chasing cans and lids that have blown away.
Additionally, automated collection streamlines recycling and reduces the need for multiple blue bins if a homeowner has a lot of recyclables to dispose of.
“It encourages recycling,” he added. “When you have a lot of cardboard, it just makes it a lot more convenient because you have a larger recycling container to be able to recycle more.”
Simplifying the collection of recyclables also cuts down on disposal costs because there are fewer containers to contend with.
The board approved the contract, but will decide between manual and automated collection later this month.
Village Attorney Scott Chatfield said the “ownership and responsibility” of the bins could be an issue.
“The cost of collection … is traditionally less expensive with the automated collection than the manual. However, there is a cost to these, depending which unit the contractor is proposing to provide,” said Chatfield. “They’re not inexpensive. Some of them are very well-built — a hundred, hundred and fifty bucks a whack.”
Grosso said Syracuse Haulers provides bins that work with their automated system, so homeowners do not buy bins that are not compatible with the system. The bins belong to Syracuse Haulers, so residents do not have to bear the cost of maintaining or replacing their own bins.
“The other consideration is if you buy them and something happens to them, you have the problem of going and picking them up and switching them out and taking care of [them],” Grosso said. “That’s our responsibility.”
Syracuse Haulers was the low bidder for the village’s trash contract. The other bidder was Feher Rubbish Removal, which abruptly went out of business last week.
Ashley M. Casey is a reporter for The Baldwinsville Messenger and The Eagle Star-Review. She graduated from Le Moyne College in 2012 and previously worked for the Scotsman Press.