Mandatory solid-waste collection begins April 1 in Apache Junction

By Richard Dyer
Twitter: @RHDyer
Posted 3/31/20

Black-lid trash carts for Apache Junction’s new sole-provider for solid waste, Republic Services, have been delivered and service starts April 1.

Zone 1 --- north of Scenic Street and west …

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Mandatory solid-waste collection begins April 1 in Apache Junction

Posted

Black-lid trash carts for Apache Junction’s new sole-provider for solid waste, Republic Services, have been delivered and service starts April 1.

Zone 1 --- north of Scenic Street and west of San Marcos Drive --- were delivered the week of March 16; and zone 2 --- south of Scenic Street and east of San Marcos Drive --- the week of March 23, Stephen Herring, Republic Services municipal relationship manager for the Phoenix market, said in a phone interview.

Residents should call Republic Services at 602-237-2078 if they have not yet received a cart so one can be delivered.

“The main piece we want to drive home is just the cart delivery --- that’s kind of the next phase of this. And then the contract starts on April 1,” Mr. Herring said.

“The first day of that contract is a full pick-up day, so we’re getting ahead of it as much as we can on educating. We want everyone to really understand what’s happening so that the residents can take advantage of this new contract,” he said.

Wrangling community questions

Mr. Herring answered resident questions about trash and recycling services Feb. 29 at a booth at the Lost Dutchman Days Rodeo Event Center.

“We were asked to come out on Saturday in anticipation of there being quite a few questions, and there were. So it was actually me who was sitting at the booth,” he said.

“The questions that were out there were mostly about when the carts are going to be delivered, so I got to explain that. Zone 1 will get delivered the week of the 16th; Zone 2 will be delivered the week of the 23rd,” Mr. Herring said.

Some area residents were confused about what the service is to cost, he said.

“A resident would come up and ask me, ‘Well, you’re raising my rate; actually $33 is more than I pay a month now.’ And I would clarify that no, it’s $33 per quarter --- $10.71 is the rate. It’s actually one of --- if not the lowest --- rate in the Phoenix Valley. And, frankly a large portion of that is because we do operate the landfill in town. That helps drive rates as low as possible,” he said.

He was also asked about the once-a-month bulk pickup, a new free service offered in Apache Junction.

The requirement for a bulk pick-up was in the request-for-proposals process with the City of Apache Junction, Mr. Herring said.

“The city wanted to have a free bulk pick-up included in the rates,” he said. “It’s an opportunity so residents can put six cubic yards of material to the curb --- basically the size of a Volkswagen Beetle. It’s like couches, basically anything that doesn’t fit in the trash container. And then we come by with a rear-load vehicle and two staff members and pick all of that up and dispose of it at the landfill.”

“Once they hear that it’s free and it’s an opportunity to do like spring cleanup or any other projects that are around the house or just getting new furniture or whatever, now there’s a simple solution of how to dispose of that material rather than having to load it up and take it to the landfill yourself,” he said.

Bulk pick-up zones are Meridian Road to Ironwood Drive, first Wednesday of each month; Ironwood Drive to Idaho Road, second Wednesday of each month; Idaho Road to Tomahawk Road, third Wednesday of each month; and Tomahawk Road to Goldfield Road, fourth Wednesday of each month. Call 602-237-2078 to set-up a bulk pick-up.

“Bulk pickup was a big hot-button question. Residents will have to call in. We divided the city into four different zones and based on the zone, that is their specific pick-up date each month,” Mr. Herring said.

“And the big benefit on the bulk pick-up is it’s no extra charge. So previously bulk in Apache Junction cost about $50 per bulk service, but now it’s part of the service --- they get one per month. They just have to abide by the rules of the zones,” he said.

Welcome kit

Homes that received a 95-gallon trash cart will be serviced twice per week. Zone 1 will have pickups Mondays and Thursdays; and zone 2 will be Tuesdays and Fridays.

When the trash cart was delivered, a welcome kit was to be attached that with information such as:

  • Recycling is optional, is picked up on Wednesdays, and costs an additional $8 per month. Request recycling and a blue-lid cart at 602-237-2078.
  • Manure carts and larger dumpsters are available.
  • To receive the best possible experience, residents must place their container at the curb or side of the closest street. Residents should have the cart set out by 6 a.m. on service days.
  • Carts should be placed five feet away from objects including utility poles, cars, mailboxes and trees.
  • If unable to bring the container to the curb or closest street due to an injury or other reason, Republic Services offers a garage pick-up service at no charge. In this instance residents would only need to move the cart outside of their garage or an easily accessible location. Republic Services would service and return the cart to that location. Verification and a doctor’s note are required to receive this service.

Trash carts returned

The City of Apache Junction offered to help local residents with returning trash carts to their previous trash and recycling providers, Apache Junction Councilman Jeff Struble and Vice Mayor Chip Wilson said at a recent council meeting.

“If anybody cannot haul their own back, and would like to have some help, you can contact the City Manager’s Office and we can help arrange to get them delivered,” Councilmember Struble said.

“We currently have a list and we can expand that list. And there’s more people who are willing to step forward to help out,” Vice Mayor Wilson said. “I have a flatbed trailer we’re going to load up.”

The City Manager’s Office phone number is 480-474-5066.

Apache Junction resident Hank Sheffer was charged $50 to return his home’s trash cart to his previous provider, Right Away Disposal.

“They just charged our account and, then, inasmuch as we pay our bills via an auto-pay system, RAD took the $50 without any beforehand statement or notification of any kind. Now it will be up to me to go down and fight that company to get my money back. That’s a pretty shabby way to snake a lot of people out of $50,” he said.

“I really have no problem with the sole-provider trash service that has been implemented in Apache Junction. That scenario of provided-service by cities/municipalities seems to be pretty standard fare,” Mr. Sheffer said. “My only concern at this point is a wait-and-see how the new provider’s service charges are handled in the future,” he said.

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