Trash compactor pays off for city |

Trash compactor pays off for city

Aspen Times Staff Report

Aspen’s environmental ranger, Brian Flynn, said this week that the city is only paying half as much as it once did for trash pickups, after switching from a traditional dumpster to a trash compactor in the alley behind City Hall.

Following the lead of the Commercial Core and Lodging Commission’s campaign to put trash compactors in Aspen’s crowded downtown alleys, the city installed its own compactor in September, Flynn said.

“An immediate benefit is the cost savings,” he noted. “We have reduced the total cost for trash pickup by over 50 percent.”

He reported that before the compactor was installed, trash was picked up at City Hall seven days a week. With the compactor, it is now picked up only one day per week.

Flynn said the city used to pay $750 a month for trash pickup, but that the fee now is only $443 per month, including the $288 monthly payment on the five-year lease for the device.

At the end of five years, he said, the city will buy the compactor for $1, and its monthly trash pickup charges will drop to $155. He said the compactor is expected to have a lifespan of up to 15 years.

Added benefits, he said, have been reduced odors, improved appearance and fewer trucks negotiating the alley. In addition, the compactor is bear-proof and tamper-proof. Users must have a key or know the proper keypad code in order to use the device.

Flynn said he plans to invite St. Mary’s Catholic Church and the Conner family, who also have trash pickup in the same alley that City Hall does, to use the compactor, thereby further reducing truck traffic in the alley and providing the church and the Conners with savings in their trash pickup costs.

The city also has installed a compactor at the parks department facility adjacent to the Aspen Municipal Golf Course on Cemetery Lane.

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