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Pink garbage totes aid cancer research

It's not easy to obtain a pink garbage can -- unless you live in the City of Lockport.

Mayor Michael W. Tucker said Friday that when the city institutes its new privatized garbage collection system later this summer, residents who want to make a donation toward breast cancer research will have the option of buying a pink plastic garbage tote for an extra $5 on their user fee.

"It's kind of cool," Tucker said. "I'm going to buy one."

The typical city garbage totes will be blue with yellow or gold lids, Tucker said.

The city also has decided that recycling service will be offered every two weeks. Every garbage customer will receive a 64-gallon recycling tote, which the city will deliver along with the resident's choice for a garbage can, which will be emptied weekly. They come in 35-, 64- and 96-gallon sizes, and are designed to be picked up and emptied by hydraulic arms attached to a garbage truck.

The city has yet to choose a contractor for the service, although Dawn M. Timm, Niagara County environmental science coordinator, said she expects action at the July 6 Common Council meeting.

The city has received bids from three contractors and is still negotiating with two, Timm said.

Tucker said among the items still being negotiated is the price. The cost of garbage pickup is being taken out of the regular property tax bills. And all users of the service, including those who are otherwise tax-exempt, will pay a user fee.

The fee will vary, based on the size of the garbage tote each resident chooses. Tucker said no matter which company ends up with the contract, the plastic totes are set.

Prototypes from Cascade Cart Solutions of Grand Rapids, Mich., were set up in the hallway outside Tucker's City Hall office last week. They have hinged lids that are supposed to be permanently attached to the body of the tote.

Tucker said the city Treasurer's Office is still working out a billing format. Implementation of the new service is targeted for mid-August, and it will be phased in ward by ward over a period of four to five weeks, Tucker said.

Lockport is the only community in Niagara County that lacks full curbside recycling service. It collects only newspapers and cardboard at the curb.


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