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Officials give primer on garbage, recycling

‘Trash talk’ occupies Well-Informed Webster People Tuesday evening

August 26, 2009
By BILL SHEA Messenger staff writer

Al Dorothy and Deb Watson can really talk trash.

They don't engage in the kind of arrogant trash talking that professional athletes sometimes do. Instead, they talk about the real trash, the stuff that goes in the back of a garbage truck every week.

Dorothy is the public works superintendent in Fort Dodge. Watson is the assistant director of the North Central Iowa Regional Solid Waste Agency that's based in Fort Dodge.

On Tuesday evening, they gave about 15 members of Well-Informed Webster People, a local taxpayers' group, a primer on solid waste collection and disposal in Fort Dodge.

Both of them said that recycling is good for the checking account as well as the environment.

According to Watson, diverting garbage away from the landfill by recycling helps keep a lid on the dumping fees there. Recycling also prevents the landfill from filling up so quickly, she said.

''Recycling would save us money and keep your fees from going up,'' Dorothy said.

Brendon Passow, manager of Frank's Auto & Truck Salvage, and Shannon Ely, the co-owner and office manager of D & L Metal Recycling, explained what services their Fort Dodge companies offer to residents.

Both companies will pay for metal. That metal can come in the form of barbecue grills, silverware, pots, and even empty liquid propane tanks that have the valves removed.

''There's a lot of stuff that goes in the landfill that you can make money off of,'' Passow said.

The weekly collections by the city Public Works Department are the primary means of solid waste disposal for most Fort Dodge homeowners.

City crews pick up garbage and recycling materials four days a week, stopping at every home once a week.

For that service, residents pay $9.60 a month.

''When you do a survey around the state that's very, very reasonable,'' Dorothy said.

On Wednesdays during the spring, summer and fall, the city crews will collect bags of grass clippings, leaves and other yard waste. That waste must be in brown paper bags with city stickers attached. Those stickers cost 75 cents apiece and can be bought at the Municipal Building, 819 First Ave. S.

Residents can also dispose of their yard waste for free by bringing it to the city's central garage at 3001 Eighth Ave. S.

Yard waste can be dumped there from 8 a.m. to noon on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Also, yard waste can be dumped there between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

That yard waste is turned into compost, which residents can get for free to use as fertilizer in their gardens and flower beds.

''We encourage people to come and get compost,'' Dorothy said.

Although residents are given a blue bin to hold their recycling materials, they must separate the paper, glass, metal and plastics. Dorothy said placing the different types of items in plastic bags and putting those bags in the bin is the easiest way to do that. He said the plastic bags are recyclable.

The city only collects trash and recycling materials from single family houses and duplexes. Apartment buildings, businesses, churches and schools are served by refuse hauling companies.

Contact Bill Shea at (515) 573-2141 or bshea@messengernews.net

 
 

 

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