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New trash pick-up system proposed in Mabton

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Scott Robertson, district manager with Yakima Waste Systems Inc., shows the Mabton City Council last night new garbage carts his company hopes to introduce to its Mabton customers. The new carts can be lifted and dumped by a mechanical arm instead of an actual person.

MABTON - Most likely, Mabton residents soon won't have to buy trash cans as Yakima Waste Systems Inc. is gearing up to switch from cans to an automated cart system.

The new carts will come in sizes of 46 gallons and 96 gallons. The carts will be picked up and dumped by a mechanical arm attached to the garbage truck.

Scott Robertson, district manager at Yakima Waste Systems Inc., told the Mabton City Council last night (Tuesday) his company has been servicing the city every Tuesday for the past 15 years. The new cart service, he said, will make pick-up even easier.

Mabton garbage customers won't have to purchase the new garbage carts, which come equipped with attached lids and wheels to maneuver the cart. The carts will be provided to the customers by the company.

Robertson said Yakima Waste Systems Inc. will keep rates for garbage service the same. Currently Mabton residents pay a monthly charge of $16.84 for service of three 32-gallon trash cans. Robertson said the 96-gallon cart will be given out for the same price.

Senior citizens, who pay a little less for their garbage service, will be given the 48-gallon carts.

Robertson said Mabton residents with dumpsters are charged $60 each month. These dumpsters measure a yard and a half and he told the council three 96-gallon carts will take care of that.

There will be some changes in store for Mabton residents if the city council gives its approval, Robertson said.

He told the council Tuesday's garbage service may need to be moved to Friday. He also said some of the 350 customers in Mabton put their trash cans in the alley behind their house. The garbage trucks with the automated arms for cart service can't make some of the turns in some alleys in Mabton. Because of this, Robertson said it might be necessary to have customers put their trash carts on the street in front of their houses.

Some benefits to Yakima Waste Systems Inc. Robertson spoke about were improved employee safety and increased productivity. The new system will also save on man hours as the Mabton run will only require a one-man truck instead of a two-man truck.

The council does have some things to think about before approving the change. The city currently gets 20 percent of garbage fees. Robertson said some customers who currently use dumpsters might switch to the cheaper 96-gallon cart. This could, he said, cut into revenue the city usually sees.

The city of Mabton recently entered into a five-year contract with Yakima Waste Systems Inc., however, Robertson said the company would like to extend the contract by five years. This, he said, would make the purchase of the new carts more viable. The contract would be extended until 2020.

Robertson said he would like to see the proposed changes go into effect by the first quarter of 2011.

The council will make a decision at a later date.

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