12/01/08 — Fremont aldermen want to give new life to old trash cans

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Fremont aldermen want to give new life to old trash cans

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on December 1, 2008 1:46 PM

FREMONT -- As Fremont town officials work to cut costs wherever possible, residents will likely be getting their old trash cans back for use as recycling bins.

The cans, used for the last 17 years, were retired earlier this year when the town purchased a used trash truck, which it refurbished and put into service for about $48,000.

At first, town aldermen and the city's Public Works department hoped the old bins would work with the newly-refurbished truck, but they did not.

"We knew it was a possibility," Town Administrator Kerrie McDuffie said. "We knew there was a chance we could use the old cans with the new truck."

But although the old cans and new truck worked to some degree, the plastic- and metal-framed construction of the 17-year-old bins were mostly incompatible.

"If we continued to use the old cans with the new truck, we were just going to keep breaking cans. It's kind of one of those things," McDuffie said.

To keep the old cans from breaking, the town spent about $36,000 in September to replace the trash cans with new ones that would work with the refurbished truck.

That solved the problem of splintering garbage cans, but it also left the town with a surplus of the old 90-gallon containers.

But the old bins may have life in them yet -- in another hopefully money-saving move, McDuffie said.

In Fremont, garbage day comes on Monday, and recycling is picked up on Wednesdays. Residents put their un-separated recyclable materials in smaller bins.

McDuffie said he hopes by switching recyclables to the old 90-gallon bins, the town might be able to cut down on the number of recycling pickup days, saving gas and man hours.

But whatever the town decides on its recycling program, at least one alderman seemed discontent with planning progress at Fremont's November meeting.

Alderman Leroy Ruffin admonished his counterparts for their lack of action on a 10-year plan.

"We need to get on the ball a little bit, as far as projecting what the (town) needs to get done in the next 10 years," Ruffin said. "(McDuffie) is doing his job as town administrator, what I said is we as board members need to do our job. We need to get to work."