Local News

Few respond to AP trash/recycling poll

AVON PARK - Few residents have responded thus far to a survey about the city's trash and recycling services, but all who answered the online questionnaire checked "yes" that they were participating in the city's recycling program. The city is seeking feedback on its once a week garbage pickup and once a week recycling pickup services before deciding on a reduction in the monthly $18 residential garbage fee. Residential garbage was collected twice a week prior to the start of the curbside single-stream recycling program in November. At the July 22 council meeting, City Manager Julian Deleon said the council is considering a sanitation rate reduction from $18 per month to $16 per month as long as services remain the same with the once a week sanitation service for regular garbage and once a week pickup for recycling.
At the meeting, both Deleon and Mayor Sharon Schuler said they had received a few complaints about the once a week garbage pickup. An online poll went up on the city's website to help in the council's decision, but only 18 residents had responded by Wednesday, according to Deleon. The poll`asked if residents were satisfied with the current level of service with 12 responding "yes" and six responding "no." By a small margin (9-7), more voted "yes" to maintain the once per week pickup for both garbage and recycling with a monthly rate reduction from $18 to $16. Fewer voted in favor (7 "yes" - 9 "no") of keeping the rates at $18 per month while returning to twice per week for garbage pickup with recycling collection on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month. Most gave approval to the city's carts with 15 voting "yes" to two "no" votes on the question: do you like your garbage/recycling carts? On the city's final question: do you currently participate in the city's recycling program? There were 17 "yes" votes and zero "no" votes. Deleon noted that the city has about 4,300 utility accounts inside the city. There was a maximum of 18 respondents. Those who responded are allowed to skip poll questions, so some questions were not answered. "We only had 0.41 percent participation on the polling system" he said. "It is some feedback for sure, but it is not a large sampling base of the customer base. "I am not sure that much could be inferred. All responders are actively involved in the city's recycling system. This is very encouraging, as we recycle over 40 tons per month." Councilman Terry Heston said Friday that he has received about 20 calls with comments on the city's garbage/recycling services. Most said they "love" the recycling program and think it is a great thing, Heston said. He only had one complaint that "really wasn't a complaint." Residents can provide their input on the garbage/recycling poll by visiting the city's website at: www.avonpark.cc. Deleon said the poll will close on Aug. 23. mvalero@highlandstoday.com 863-386-5826