BEATRICE – The new City of Beatrice operated garbage service under the name, Midwest Area Refuse Solutions, kicks off Monday.
Earlier, 90-gallon waste containers fitted with wheels were delivered to all homes in the city. One of the concerns expressed by some elderly residents is the ability to get the cart to curbside by six a.m., on the day of their pick-up.
Kerri McGrury, who handles billing for the new system, said there is an alternative.
"We do have the carry-out service available to people who aren't able to handle the container well, or just get it to the end of their driveway, to the sidewalk or the curb. We've had a lot of people calling in requesting that service and asking how that works. That is a four-dollar a month service rate. So, we will go up to the garage or the front of the house to get their container...take it to the end of the driveway, dump the container and take it back up there. All they need to do is basically get it out of their garage, have it at the front of their house and we'll take care of the rest, for them."
The four-dollar charge is an addition to the monthly charge of $18. MARS Superintendent, Jason Moore says with the new city-run system, the city is switching from twice-a-week collection, to once-per-week.
"All of the villages around us, have been currently once-a-week. All of the rural residents around us have been once-a-week. If you look at all of the larger cities, really the City of Beatrice was the only municipality that I know of, that still did twice-a-week pick-up. When we had salesmen come in from our truck provider with our side-loaders, we were discussing it and said we were going from twice-a-week to once-a-week....one of them just about fell over. He said that's something almost unheard of."
In addition to in-Beatrice collection, MARS is contracting with a half-dozen surrounding smaller communities to be their garbage collector. Moore encourages other rural residents in the area to consider becoming a customer.
"I would encourage anybody that's surrounding Beatrice or surrounding any ...whether it be Daykin, Western, Plymouth, Pickrell, Cortland, Filley or the Ellis area....if you haven't had garbage (service) before and you've been taking everything into the landfill....I told my dad just yesterday, and he takes everything to the landfill...you could put a tote out at the end of your driveway and we're going to be going right by your property.....this is the perfect opportunity for you."
This week, city officials released details on the garbage routes that will be picked up, with different sections of the city, covered Monday through Friday.