AMES, IOWA — The City of Ames is considering doing away with its open garbage collection policy and instead instituting an organized collection system. Currently, trash collectors are able to contract service wherever they’d like in the city. The city is considering a new system that would divide Ames into a dozen or more zones. Private companies would then bid on a contract to collect in one of those zones.
At least one company, “Garbage Guys”, worry that the change will give an advantage to larger companies and force smaller companies out of the business. “We just hate to see the big business roll in and they take the majority of the accounts and the small guys are left picking up the scraps,” says owner & operator Taylor Eichinger.
Eichinger said that the company may be forced to sell equipment or lay off staff that were hired to pick up the garbage of 2,500 customers the company has in Ames.
On the city’s report, it shows there are seven hauling companies that operate in Ames. Only two of those companies are fine with the new zoning proposal. The report also said that open collection generates more traffic, wear and tear on city roads, noise and pollution.
The city’s mayor said that this is not an attack on small business, it is a way to streamline the process while also helping reduce the impact on the environment.
“There is no intent to try to harm the waste haulers, the objective is to reduce the wear and tear on our streets, reduce our carbon footprint, offer more services to our constituents and hopefully provide some optimization and some efficiency for the waste haulers if they have a similar amount of customers they currently do,” said Mayor of Ames John Haila.
Haila acknowledged that if the zoning takes away customers from waste haulers, it will limit a company’s ability to grow. He added that the final solution will not be able to please all the haulers, customers and members of the public. He hopes the city council would know what proposal the city will move forward with by the end of 2023.
The Ames City Council meets on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m.