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      City to contract out trash removal services

      The city of Toledo is making some serious changes in trash collection. Come September 1st they're not going to be picking it up at all.

      In recent years, the City of Toledo had the chance to privatize trash pick-up, but council voted no. Instead they approved a plan that would use $12 million of taxpayer money to purchase automated trash trucks.

      Last night, Toledo City Council voted in favor of having a private contractor, Allied Waste Services collect trash from the city. The vote passed 8 to 4.

      It's a plan that Director of Public Service, David Welch says will cut $2.8 million out of the cities deficit. And next year we will not have to pay the 7.7million dollars in operating costs that this will replace, Welch.

      But it doesn't come without a cost. Once the new plan takes place, the city will have no use for the automated trucks it purchased. Currently, the city still owes $9 million on them and plans to sell them back at a loss for $8 million.

      It's a plan that doesn't sit well with lifetime Toledo resident Frances McFarland. There should TMve been more planning i think now they TMre going to sell them at a loss really.

      That was taken into account when we put the budget together that we would have to take a small loss on the trucks, says Welch who points out that there will be many gains elsewhere.

      The cost of trash pick-up could be as low as $8.15, or $5 for seniors with a homestead exemption. Also included, a recycling incentive program that could earn residents up to $10 a month in coupons.

      McFarland says the new program sounds alright, but she TMs concerned about what will happen to the city employees who currently do the job. As long as it don't lose a lot of peoples jobs that's the main thing we should be concerned about these days, McFarland.

      The city says it has 66 employees who would be affected by the switch. Welch told NBC24 that some of those workers will be taken in by Allied Waste Services. We contacted Allied Waste Services today, but there was no one available to answer how many city employees they could take in. The city will attempt to place the remaining workers in other departments with vacancies, but there could be layoffs.

      The only major change residents should see is the elimination of the Leap Forward Program. On minor holidays trash would be removed the day off, for major holidays the trash would be picked up the next day.