Laramie’s green waste program has been a big hit with locals, which is a bit of predicament for the city, Mayor Andi Summerville said.
“The city of Laramie has an extremely successful green waste program,” Summerville said.
“The program we have is too successful. It’s a great problem to have.”
Although the green waste collection bins are only staged throughout the city for part of the year, she said people illegally dump green waste and trash at the collection points year round.
To determine how best to address the problem, the Laramie City Council is slated to meet for a work session at 6 p.m. today in City Hall, 406 Ivinson Ave., and discuss possible solutions.
“We’ve seen some problems in the last year — illegal dumping,” Summerville said. “We’re having issues with that becoming a normal problem.”
Laramie Public Works Solid Waste Manager Brooks Webb said his crews do a weekly run around Laramie cleaning up the collection points when the bins aren’t out, and they still have a hard time keeping up with the illegal dumping.
“The problem with that is people seeing we’re picking it up and they think it’s OK to dump there,” Webb said.
The extra time spent patrolling the collection sites costs the financially strapped city man hours it doesn’t have the budget to provide, Summerville said.
“That’s not what they’re intended to do,” Webb said. “We have lots of other things we need to be doing.”
When the collection bins are out, Summerville said commercial businesses such as landscaping contractors fill up the bins daily, which leaves little or no room for the residents the bins were intended for.
“Last year, we were having such a problem that we were literally having to take care of the bins once or twice a day,” Summerville said.
Webb said the green waste program is free to everyone — resident or business — but the city encourages businesses to drop their green waste off at the landfill. Residents and businesses can drop green waste at the landfill year-round free of charge.
“With the commercial folks using them, it’s always been a big issue during collection time,” Webb said. “We’re asking them to just go out to the landfill — it’s free, and its actually easier cause they can just pull up and dump on the ground.”
Webb said people should not use the green waste collection points to dump solid waste items.
“We’ve had mattresses in there, carcasses in there, all sorts of things,” he said. “My guys will try to separate it out if they have time, but a lot times it makes it to where we have to just put in the landfill.”