BATAVIA, N.Y. (WIVB) - More than 200 people packed Batavia City Hall to voice their opinions about a plan to hire an Arizona company to pick up garbage in the city.
The system would use totes for the first time in Batavia. Council members say it would save the city about a million dollars a year but anyone with a home assessed at less than $87,000 would pay a bit more initially.
Most of the 200 residents who turned out for the public hearing wanted to keep the current system for collecting garbage in place. Many came with signs supporting Genesee ARC, a company that employs 30 adults, many with disabilities, that currently takes care of city trash collections.
Genesee ARC has held the contract in Batavia for years, but the City Council is now considering an out-of-town contract that would use one-man garbage trucks and a system of totes. It would cost the city less and even after paying a new garbage user fee, residents whose homes are assessed at more than $87,000 would save money in the end.
Council member Pierluigi Cipollone argued, "I think the tote system is good for the city. It'll keep the city cleaner. I really don't like having bags all over the city."
Batavia resident Carol Grasso responded, "These people that pick up our trash cash their checks on Friday, they spend it here in Batavia. They don't go out of town. They're special needs and they don't get to Buffalo and Rochester."
The Council did not vote on the proposal Monday night, but may vote on the first step in the process at the next meeting in two weeks.
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