Trash and Yard Waste Update

January 10, 2019

Chad Grattan and Bill Goodwin recently met with a representative from WCA, our current trash and lawn waste service provider.
The purpose of the meeting was to clarify trash and lawn waste pick up regulations and to voice service concerns from our residents. WCA was provided with several issues raised by residents about their recent service. We found the WCA representative willing to listen and respond to our concerns. Several items were discussed, the representative agreed to take them back to WCA for final response.
We learned that there have been several changes impacting trash and lawn waste pick up. Among them is the fact that it is becoming more expensive to provide service. This is due to the fact that several landfills for trash have been filled up.
There is now only one landfill in our immediate area. We were advised that charges for dumping have increased. Costs for landfill dumping have increased by 2% for all trash pickup companies, not just WCA.
Also, while Johnson County has several trash pick up regulations, many of them have not been totally enforced. However, that is changing. Trash companies are being held to certain standards that impact what they can allow from their customers.
Here are some specifics:
  •  For trash pickup, 96 gallons (the size of the large containers we use) is the maximum that can be used. No home owner containers can be used. Trash bags (the black bags) can be used, but if residents put them out for pick up, a paid-for sticker is required to be placed on the bags. The trash bags must be 40 lbs. or less to be picked up. Stickers are available at many grocery and hardware stores.
  • For lawn waste, regulations state that lawn waste must be placed in the brown, bio-degradable bags we all use. We will no longer be provided with unlimited lawn waste pickups. Going forward, each home owner can put out a maximum of 10 brown bags for pick up. Bags in excess of 10 will not be picked up.
  • We have learned that no home owner carts or trash cans can be picked up, again this is per regulations.
  • Please do not use any of your own carts or trash cans for lawn waste. Any tree limbs or branches need to be cut up and bundled for pick up.
  • We did mention to the WCA representative that our neighborhood has lots of big trees that produce a quite a few leaves. Options were discussed, including the fact that the “buddy system” can be used if someone has more than 10 bags. If a resident will not need their full 10 bag allotment, they can accept a neighbor’s additional bags. This is not an ideal situation, but it can help.
  • More proactively, we asked if during the height of “leaf season” could we get more than the 10-bag limit. The representative put this on the follow up list with WCA management, indicating this would generate additional charges.
  • The representative will try to get us a price for a maximum of 15 bags for the months of October, November and December. We also asked for a price on a maximum of 20 bags for the same time period. If this is an option for us, the Homes Association will pick up the additional charges. We will advise everyone of the outcome on this proposal.
  • We also discussed the issue of trucks creating damage in many of our cul-de-sacs. It was noted that big trucks have problems making the turns in the cul-de-sacs. The representative will review this with WCA management.
  • The representative indicated that the “big” trucks currently in use have a smaller turning radius than the smaller trucks they replaced. We were advised that this was one of the considerations in choosing the current fleet of trucks.
  • Navigating the cul-de-sacs is a problem for the trucks. One thing that we can all do is make sure that the night before no vehicles are parked in the cul-de-sacs to assist drivers in getting around. Also, if you see cars in the cul-de-sac, please remind your neighbors to move them.
  • We also learned that drivers have a strict number of work/driving hours. Once they reach their limit, they must stop. Also, we learned that the trucks have a maximum weight capacity. Once they reach that weight the driver must stop collections and head for the dump site. Upon arrival, if the truck is overweight, a fine is imposed. Work hours, adherence to weight requirement and sometimes more trash out for pick up may have led to some people not getting their trash picked on Tuesdays.
  • Please advise us when your trash has not been picked up.
  • Our goal in meeting the WCA representative was to express our concerns so that we can get the best possible service for our residents. After hearing the rep’s point of view, we indicated that many of the issues could have been addressed with our residents beforehand so that people were aware. We indicated that if WCA had advised us, we could have advised our residents. We asked for improved, more timely communication to us from WCA.
  • We ended up having a good meeting the rep. We feel that we have the basis for a good working relationship going forward. We will keep our residents informed. 
  • Finally, we will set up a specific email address (probably for residents to address their concerns to the board. We will have someone who will deal with them and reach out to WCA.
  • We will communicate through our website and if necessary, through email blasts.

                                                                                                           Bill Goodwin, NFHA Treasurer