Lansing Considers Streamlining Trash Pickup

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As a Lansing resident and a representative of the city employees' union, Stan Shuck says having city workers pick up all the trash in Lansing is a no brainer.

"The city offers it as a non-profit service, so there is not a profit margin there, not to mention it's jobs in our community with people from our community," said Shuck.

The city says they'll look into it as recommended by the financial health team, but the other option is to outsource all trash pickup to a third party.

"We can't afford to sit and ponder these recommendations for too long," said Lansing's Chief Operating Officer Chad Gamble.

That means changes may come soon. Right now, the city takes care of rougly 6000 residential customers with bins and collects thousands more blue trash bags, which is a pay as you go service. All that accounts for 20% of homes and bringing the rest of the business in house can mean some big changes.

"If you can imagine multiplying everthing we have by five or six," said Gamble.

That's a possibility of multiplying the number of fee paying customers, but also increasing the cost of running a bigger business.

"Not only do we do the collection of the trash, we have buildings that house them, we have dedicated mechanics who repair those vehicles, not to mention the capital cost of purchasing those vehicles initially," said Gamble.

"We just make suggestions and show them the simple math," said Shuck.

For the city, the math is not that simple and as of now, the possibility of going either way is wide open.

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