Bellevue Public Works Director Jeff Roberts has issued the following letter to the citizens of Bellevue as a thank you for your cooperation during the transition to the new solid waste program and to address a few concerns that have been received in the Public Works Department:
Dear Citizens of Bellevue,
I’d like to take a moment to thank the citizens of Bellevue for your cooperation and patience as we have worked with Papillion Sanitation on the implementation of the recently enacted solid waste program. I would also like to use this opportunity to address a few of the comments that the City of Bellevue has received in an effort to dispel the rumors and inaccurate perceptions about the new program and explain why the city initiated this change to the solid waste removal in Bellevue.
Due to the closing of the Sarpy County Landfill and other factors, the city was looking at increased solid waste removal costs that would likely triple the cost to Bellevue residents if we stayed with the former program. With this in mind, the Publics Works Department was asked to research possible cost savings programs which could be passed on to the citizens of Bellevue.
Our research concluded that the “Pay as You Throw” (PAYT) model, which has been proven nationally as an effective means of solid waste removal, and after conducting a successful two-year pilot program, eventually became the chosen program approved by City Council. In Bellevue, we refer to the program as, “Your Cart Plays a Part”.
The advantage of the PAYT program is that it affords the customer the flexibility to control their solid waste through selective means of separating items that are recyclable, non-recyclable plastics, yard waste and solid waste. The consumer is charged only on their solid waste utilization as determined by the resident and their choice of blue cart size. The more solid waste you generate the more tonnage you are responsible for. This program is similar to other local utilities in the fact that the more water, gas and electricity you consume the more you pay. Unlike these other utilities, Bellevue citizens are now given options to control their waste removal costs through selective separation. Under the City’s former solid waste removal program, customers were participating in a subsidized system where everyone paid the same amount whether they had one bag of solid waste a week or ten 35-gallon containers full of trash.
I want to assure the citizens of Bellevue, that it is not mandatory that you separate recyclable, non-recyclable plastics and solid waste. Although, the City of Bellevue encourages all citizens to take steps to consider recycling, this is your decision to make. Citizens do not have to participate in the recycling opportunities this program allows or use the Hefty energy bags. There are no fines or fiscal penalties associated with this program other than a potential notice for improper use of the containers or lack of (I.E. items placed outside the containers).
The roll of Hefty energy bags was issued as a part of the new program at no additional cost to you. You will receive one roll per year for the first two years of the new program with a reevaluation to continue or not.
The City of Bellevue realizes that a change such as this is never easy. We fully understand that time will be needed to work out all the bugs associated with the new system. However, we are confident that with everyone’s continued cooperation and patience this will eventually become second nature to all of us.
Thanks for reading and if you have additional questions or concerns please feel free to contact the Public Works Department or the folks at Papillion Sanitation.
Jeffrey L. Roberts
Public Works Director/City Engineer