MUSCATINE, Iowa – The City of Muscatine implemented the bulky waste collection program this week with over four tons of material collected in just the first three days of operation including four appliances.
“It was a little hectic the first day with people calling in but it is going well now,” David Popp, Solid Waste Division Manager, said. “From the feedback we are getting residents appreciate this expanded service.”
Tuesday was the biggest day so far with 20 collection stops and 1.69 tons of material collected. A total of 1.3 tons were collected in seven stops on Monday and 1.31 tons in 13 stops on Wednesday.
Curbside bulky waste collection was previously offered to Muscatine and Fruitland residents for free three times a year, and a massive collection effort was staged in late April with a designated Spring Cleanup Week.
The new program eliminates Spring Cleanup Week and permits unlimited free curbside bulky waste collection throughout the calendar year. However, residents are limited to having two appliances collected free of charge per calendar year. The Solid Waste Division will pick up additional appliances for a fee that must be prepaid before collection.
“We learned over the last several years of holding a special week for bulky waste collection just how time consuming and expensive that effort was,” Popp said.
The Curbside Bulky Waste Collection program will save the City money and, hopefully, alleviate unsightly oversized, and potentially hazardous piles of bulky waste throughout the City of Muscatine.
“The cleanup week collection required assistance from multiple divisions and the use of temporary workers,” Brian Stineman, Public Works Director, said. “And it took away resources that should have been used for roadway maintenance projects.”
In the past the City has used 13 full time employees, nine temporary employees, and 14 pieces of equipment from the Department of Public Works along with eight full time employees, 17 temporary employees, and eight pieces of equipment from the Solid Waste Division.
“Going to a program where we schedule pickups on resident’s regular refuse collection day allows us to limit the workload to just two employees and one piece of equipment,” Popp said. “Having residents call in to schedule pickups will make better use of our time and of residents’ time.”
Residents wanting a curbside bulky waste collection will need to call 563-264-JUNK (563-264-5865) or email the Muscatine Transfer Station at email@example.com to schedule a pickup on the residents refuse collection day.
“If you call in and get the answering machine we will call you back,” Jennifer Calcott, Transfer Station clerk, said. “If you email us, we will call you. We are making every effort to talk with anyone who calls in to review the rules and set up a collection day. The most important thing for the public is to remember that you need to call in at least two business days ahead of your collection day to be put on the schedule.”
If residents have a large amount of bulky waste items they would like collected by the City, multiple pickups can be scheduled to keep the piles to a more manageable size for both the resident and City staff.
Once a pickup is scheduled with the City, residents will be permitted to place the unwanted items curbside the night before their regular refuse collection day or by 5:00 a.m. on the collection day.
Popp noted that scavengers are a problem when setting out bulky waste in terms of creating a bigger mess for his staff to cleanup and in terms of creating hazards in the taking apart of appliances and other items in the boulevard. Pieces of scavenged material such as nuts, bolts, and pieces of glass create hazards not only for the City workers but also for the residents.
“We may not see all the little pieces that the scavengers leave behind and that could create a hazard for the resident and their family,” Popp said.
Popp also said that his department is working with Community Development (CD) to develop door hangers that can be placed on the front door of a residents’ home if the CD inspectors find a pile of bulky waste that has not been scheduled for collection.
“Basically the resident will have several options,” Popp said. “The best option is for the resident to call the Transfer Station to set up a free collection.”
Residents could also clean up the bulky waste themselves and haul the material to the transfer station where they would be charged a tipping floor fee.
Normally when a bulky waste pile is identified by CD inspectors a nuisance abatement letter is issued to the resident who would then be required to clean up the pile. If the pile is not cleaned up, the City contracts with a third party to clean up the pile and then bills the resident for the expense of the cleanup.
A link to the Bulky Waste Collection page on the City of Muscatine web site is located in the upper right half of the main page. You can also visit the Solid Waste Division page or visit the Transfer Station page for more information.