A contract that is expected to save money for the city and increase convenience for trash-collection customers got unanimous support from the Prescott City Council this week.
On Tuesday, Jan. 23, the council approved an $80,000 contract with Kary Environmental Services of Mesa to provide curbside collection and disposal of household hazardous waste for Prescott’s sanitation customers.
Will Black of the solid waste division pointed out that the city has previously partnered with Yavapai County to conduct hazardous-waste collection days at the Sundog Ranch Road Transfer Station.
Residents were able to take hazardous items such as paint, batteries, and pesticides to the event for proper disposal. The goal was to keep hazardous items out of the landfill.
One issue with the arrangement, however, was that residents had just a few hours to participate. The collection events typically occurred from 8 to noon on a weekend day.
Under the contract with Kary, trash-collection customers will be able to set up a pick-up time by telephone or online. The contractor will then pick up the items on an arranged day.
“The contractor is provided a list of stops to collect each day, and the material is picked up from the home,” a city memo explained.
Along with the more flexible time schedule, other conveniences for residents include the elimination of potential spills in their vehicles, and the elimination of the long lines that typically formed for the one-day event.
In response to council questions about the process, Black explained that when customers schedule their pick-ups, they will be instructed to list the items to be collected. They also will be asked to box the disposed items, label them as household hazardous waste, and leave the boxed items near their garage or carport.
The materials that will be collected by the contractor include: household chemicals; paint thinners; pesticides/insecticides; batteries; oil-based paint (five-gallon limit); latex paint (20-gallon limit); automotive batteries; and gasoline, motor oil, and antifreeze (each with a five-gallon limit).
The city also is adding tires (limit of five), appliances, and electronics.
In previous years, the cost of the one-day events have cost between $56,000 to $120,000, and required significant city-employee overtime. Because the curbside pick-up will take place during the week, the city is not anticipating any overtime costs under the contract with Kary.
Black pointed out that although the program will be new to Prescott, it has been used successfully in Glendale, Peoria, and Scottsdale.
Several council members voiced support for the concept. Mayor Pro Tem Billie Orr, for instance, noted that the program would be a cost-saving measure for the city, and would help the environment.
The city will begin notifying trash-collection customers of the details of the new program in February, and the collection is scheduled to take place from March 5 to 23.