With the last of collection for McBride’s Yard Waste just around the corner, co-owner Jonathan McBride said the company’s first season was better than he anticipated.
“Things went well,” McBride said. “We got a better response than I thought we would.”
The service began Aug. 15 and the green waste collection company offered the community free service through the first season, which ends Thursday.
McBride said Laramie exceeded the company’s goal of more than 1,000 customers.
The Laramie City Council contracted McBride’s to start collecting curbside yard waste after determining the green waste bins were an unsustainable portion of the city’s green waste program.
A Wyoming native and University of Wyoming alumnus, McBride started a green waste collection service with his business partner Gene Russel in Sidney, Nebraska, after graduating from UW. But when Cabela’s, a major employer of Sidney residents, was bought out by Bass Pro Shops, the customer base eroded and McBride’s Yard Waste started looking for a new home.
Around the same time, Laramie city staff started looking for a solution to the green waste program operating at a $160,000-a-year deficit. McBride worked with city staff for nearly one year before presenting his business plan to City Council on June 20.
While contracting the yard waste service did not eliminate the green waste program deficit, city staff estimated in July contracting with McBride’s would save the city about $360,000 during the next six years.
Additionally, the city was able to remove the green waste collection sites, which were causing illegal dumping problems and costing the city increasing amounts of staff time to maintain.
Despite illegal dumping problems with the previous program, McBride said he had few problems with people using the yard waste bins for purposes other than permitted waste materials.
“Overall, people who signed up the for free service were pretty good at just putting green waste in the bins,” he said. “Even the guys at the landfill were surprised. We still had a few bags or trash items here or there, but I go through each load by hand and pick that stuff out.”
The company will not be picking up the yard waste bins during the winter months unless a customer cancels their service altogether, McBride said.
“We just ask that (the customers) store the containers,” he said. “They’re durable. If anything, just put it against the house or inside a fence so it doesn’t blow away.”
McBride also suggested customers wash out the bins before storing them to avoid materials rotting inside in the off season. If a customer has a problem with a bin, McBride said they should call the company at 399-2028.
New customers can sign up for the yard waste collection service throughout the winter at www.mcbridesyardwaste.com, and service is scheduled to resume April 16.
“We’d recommend that if they want to use it the whole year, they sign up early next year,” McBride said. “That way we have an accurate count of the supplies and routes we’ll need to run.”
As the season comes to a close, McBride said he’s glad to be back in his old stomping grounds.
“It’s great to be back in Laramie,” he said. “Just the other day, we went to football game at War Memorial and got to reconnect with a bunch of people I went to school with. And even with a short (yard waste) season, it’s been nice to help solve a problem for the city and the community.”