Friday, Oct 31, 2014
Local News

Avon Park gets ready for solid waste pickup changes


Published:

AVON PARK - The changes have been posted online, announced at city council meetings, attached to water bills, mentioned in newspaper articles, TV and radio announcements and even stapled up on the bulletin board of city hall.

But despite getting the word out, the City of Avon Park doesn't want the few folks not in the know to stink things up.

Avon Park is currently collecting all municipal solid waste Thursdays and Fridays, requiring two trucks and four employees to meet peak collection demands. To streamline refuse collection, city Public Works Operations Manager Luke Ancrum Sr. suggested reconfiguring collection routes to increase equipment and personnel redundancy.

At the Jan. 13 Avon Park City Council meeting, the council approved the change in garbage and refuse collection days, which will affect residents and businesses south of Main Street, beginning Jan. 27. Collection for those homes and businesses will change from Thursdays to Mondays and Fridays will switch to Tuesdays.

There are no changes to areas north of Main Street or to Wednesday recycling pickup.

City Manager Julian Deleon said the modifications to pick-up days are the result of growth in the city. At this time, there are about 4,000 residential and commercial sanitation accounts. Due to recent annexations, another 600 accounts will be added, increasing the workload and prompting the route changes.

Deleon said in a nutshell, the entire city's garbage would now be collected on either Thursday or Friday. The Public Works Department currently has two residential garbage trucks, both less than two years old, a spare residential truck over seven years old that is in "bad shape" and one new $240,000 commercial refuse truck.

"Because we're collecting the entire city on Thursdays and Fridays, we need the entire fleet with four employees. By spreading the work out Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, it allows for a spare truck in case of a breakdown and two employees filling in during leaves of absences," he said.

The route modifications are good for the city's ability to keep collections on track and lessen the workload for its nine public works employees. Ancrum said running one truck and leaving a spare would help in providing for truck maintenance by the city's one mechanic and keep from using the same four garbage collectors throughout the week.

"It was getting to the point we couldn't keep up with the maintenance and it will help by spreading the work out," he said.

Deleon said city employees would be on "standby" to follow up on complaints from residents and businesses that did not know about he schedule changes.

For information, see www.avonpark.cc or call (863) 452-4400.

pcatala@highlandstoday.com

(863) 386-5855

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