The City of Mount Vernon has approved moving forward with a contract with Republic Waste Management for trash and recycling disposal.

One of the points that was brought up at the meeting, however, bears more exploration from the City of Mount Vernon.

The education offered to Mount Vernon residents on this change of trash and recycling service needs to be more than a letter that could easily be forgotten.

The move away from the tags program is a significant change to the waste collection within Mount Vernon, and the switch to containers for both garbage and recycling are going to have elements the city has to work through.

One point brought up in the city is what happens if you’re a citizen who works out of town and lives near Cornell College where college students and commuters might park along your street and block access to your trash or recycling bins. This isn’t a new problem for the company who will be doing automated runs, but communications on what citizens should do to have access to a service they are paying for are collected in a timely manner.

Another item of discussion that has been mentioned more than once at council meetings is that what is being recycled needs to be better communicated to citizens to make sure those items they don’t want to see as garbage actually get recycled. What are the expectations for recycling, now that we’re moving to a more automated system? What needs to be done to make sure these products aren’t spoiled and will no longer be usable or recycled?

This is more than a letter, and the city has time. The citizens of Lisbon can prove testament that preparing for this change and communicating clearly what citizens need to do to prepare for these new trash collection procedures is something that Mount Vernon needs to be doing now until July 1 to communicate these changes.

There are council members who are excited about this change and being proactive with moving to this automated service. Now’s the time to take that excitement back to citizens and help prepare them for the changes that are coming, especially since as Tom Wieseler has noted, this is a huge systematic change for the community of Mount Vernon.

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