The decision to give Onalaska residents 65 gallon garbage and recycling bins was made in late 2012. Those bins were delivered to Onalaska doorsteps last month. Now only a month later they may be taken back at quite a cost.
Onalaska residents now have the option to choose their garbage and recycling bin size. In December the council decided to give people the option after some complained.
"Over that next few months a variety of constituents, residents from Onalaska came out and talked about why wasn't I offered a choice," Onalaska City Engineer Jarrod Holter said.
Onalaska residents can keep their 65 gallon bins or switch to a 35 or 95 gallon. However this comes at quite a cost. Estimates from the city engineer say that if 25 percent of people make a switch, it could cost the city a lot of money.
"Assuming that that 25 percent number holds true it will be up in that $200,000 range for the city to make the switch," Holter said.
Currently there are two options floating around. One, the city pays the tab. The second, Harter's Quick Clean-up covers the cost.
"I guess that's what were reviewing right now and trying to figure out how to proceed with that," Gary Harter, owner of Harter's Quick Clean-Up said.
The money is not the only issue. Harter's is going to have lots of extra bins. They can sell them but won't get as much in return.
"Now all of the sudden you've gotta have more inventory. What do you do with the old ones that you get back," Hater said.
Now Harter's and the city have to wait and see how many people actually make the switch before getting a final estimate on the cost.
"If I had to guess if it would be higher or lower I would probably tend to go higher then the 25," Holter said.
Both Harter's and the city of Onalaska are hoping that people will really think about their decision. This exchange is a one time thing. Once your decision is made, it's final.
Flyers will be in Onalaska mailboxes sometime in February. The deadline to make the switch will be April 2.