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Gresham to roll out carts, garbage rate savings

by: City of Gresham, Gresham city councilors have approved replacing older garbage and yard debris cans with roll carts at a reduced cost to ratepayers.

Gresham city councilors unanimously approved lowering garbage rates and rolling out a new roll cart system during their Tuesday, June 5, meeting.

Starting Aug. 1, single-family homeowners in Gresham will see a reduction ranging from 25 cents to $4.45 a month depending on their level of service, said Laura Shepard, city spokeswoman.

The council also approved moving to a complete cart system citywide, replacing resident-owned garbage cans and yard debris cans with roll carts provided by waste haulers at no extra cost to ratepayers.

'It's a rare opportunity to put money back into our customers' pocket today, while making improvements that will pay off in the future,' said Steve Fancher, Gresham's Environmental Services Director.

Put another way, hell has - if not frozen over - grown frosty.

It's the first time since 1996, when Councilor David Widmark began serving on and off as a city councilor, that he can recall the City Council ever lowering rates.

'This is historic,' he said. '...This is great news for our community. We still have the ability to sharpen our pencils to provide the best service we can.'

Gresham residents have a hodgepodge of garbage containers. Some residents have traditional cans for garbage and yard debris.

Others - usually new customers or those who've changed their service level, thereby changing the size of their container - have roll carts provided by their hauler, said Dan Blue, recycling and solid waste manager.

The city already switched to roll carts for recyclables in 2007, making it easier for haulers to collect this type of debris because garbage trucks are equipped to lift carts. But haulers were stuck lifting garbage cans the old fashioned way.

Residents also will get extra room for yard debris: If they are still using an old fashioned garbage can for yard debris, it will be replaced with a 60-gallon roll cart.

The fully carted system should make collecting garbage and yard debris easier, more efficient and safer for customers and workers, resulting in long-term financial benefits including reduced worker compensation costs and lower rates, Blue said.

Residents can expect delivery of their new roll carts by the end of October.