By Lasca Randels
WARSAW — Changes to the city trash pickup schedule were announced at the City of Warsaw Board of Public Works & Safety meeting Friday, Sept. 17.
According to Warsaw Street Superintendent Dustin Dillon, about 40 percent of the routes will be affected.
Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer said the primary goal was to make the routes more efficient, as the routes have become more spread out over time due to annexations and the addition of users over the years.
Existing trash routes have city workers going from one side of town to the other on the same day.
On Thursdays, Dillon said, they have trucks at the furthest southwest point of city limits and at the furthest east point as well as in the middle.
“There’s just no real rhythm to it,” Dillon said. “It was a long time coming and needed to be done.”
Dillon said the cost of hiring a consultant was high. The new routes were able to be drawn up using in-house software, saving the city over $10,000.
“With these old maps, you’re spending two and a half hours of deadhead time driving somewhere,” Dillon said, while the new routes keep everyone concentrated in the same area.
“You’re not driving clear across town. You’re not spending 45 minutes going from one side to the other, running over to pick up something that was missed,” Dillon said. “I think once we get the quirks worked out of it after the first 30 days, I really think we’ll be completed by lunch every day with our trash service.”
Dillon anticipates the route changes will save between 15-20 man hours that could be spent on another city project.
“It’s a long time coming,” Dillon said. “I know we’re all creatures of habit, but I mean you can clearly look at the map and see how much more efficient we are in doing it this way.”
According to Dillon, the new Monday route will cover “everything on Center Street coming across 15, headed east, over to Harrison, everything across 30; Tuesday is gonna be south of Center Street, east of 15, including everything out on Country Club Road; Wednesday will include everything north of Winona, west of 15 including Northwest Woods; Thursday will be east of 15, north of Center Street and inside the loop of 30; Friday is Winona, west of 15, Ranch Road.”
The route changes are scheduled to begin Oct. 4.
In anticipation of the new routes, informational packets will be distributed the week of Sept. 27 with details about the new schedule. The packets will be taped to residents’ trash bins.
A sticker will also be placed on the trash bin, alerting the resident to which day of the week their trash will be picked up. The packet will also contain a holiday trash pickup schedule for the remainder of 2021 and for 2022.
Trash service days for some residents will not change; however, even if your trash pickup day is not changing, you will still receive the informational packet.
Information may also be found via an interactive map on the city website at warsaw.in.gov/trashmap
“One of the biggest things that always bugged me with our old trash routes and I know it bugged many people, not just me, is that you had streets that had trash days … you know, one side of the street was Tuesday, one side of it was Thursday, one side was Wednesday, one side was Friday, so you were constantly looking at trash cans out,” Dillon said.
With the new schedule, Center Street is the only one with multiple trash service days. Dillon said this will be virtually unnoticeable since it involves trash service east of city hall on Mondays and west of city hall on Wednesdays.
“I would just add, rearranging these routes with in-house software and IT is another advantage, another example of our IT governance that we’ve been talking about as we’ve kind of pivoted to making those changes to assist all departments with technology in making these types of operational changes,” Mayor Thallemer said. “This is a great example. As Dustin mentioned, you were looking at about $10,000 to go out and have somebody realign our trash routes and we’ve got an Element Software that we’re using in-house and this is just a great example of that.”
Dillon said there will be no changes to the recycling schedule.
Loose leaf pickup will run in coordination with trash pickup.
Regarding the paper bags made available by the city in July, Thallemer stressed that the bags are only to be used when normal loose leaf pickup is not in service.
“Just to clarify, during normal leaf pickup, we’re not putting the leaves in those paper bags. It will still continue the way it always has,” Thallemer said. “That’s where the leaves go until we start our loose leaf pickup.”
In another matter, Warsaw-Wayne Fire Territory Chief Mike Wilson requested approval to move forward with the purchase of new mobile radios at a cost of $69,724. The WWFT Board approved the purchase at a meeting Sept. 7. The new radios are necessary due to the county making a switch from the current VHF (very high frequency) system to a 700 MHz frequency range by the spring of 2022.
The enhanced system has been designed for emergency services of Kosciusko County. The change ensures complete communications for emergency responders.
The board approved the request.
The board’s next regular meeting will be 10:30 a.m. Oct. 1.