IRONWOOD - Just a few days before a new garbage contractor is to begin serving Ironwood, city residents were told Monday the new company will do all it can to make the transition smooth.
"Customer satisfaction is my company's priority," said Jim Whittinghill, sales manager for Eagle Waste, of Eagle River, Wis.
The company will begin collecting garbage Thursday from customers' 64-gallon receptacles. If people prefer, they can receive 48- or 96-gallon containers, he told the city commission.
Whittinghill said in the city of Ashland, of 8,000 customers, only 30 changed to different sized containers.
The wheeled carts will be picked up by an automated arm extending from the collection truck.
"We will deal with our customers personally," Whittinghill said. "We want to make this as seamless as we can."
He said the company has hired a driver from Ironwood who is being trained for the route here.
JB Disposal continues as the city's contractor through today.
Mayor Kim Corcoran questioned whether the carts will be difficult for elderly people. Whittinghill said there should be no problems, as he can pick up an empty container with his little finger. "It's easier than trash cans," he said.
He said people seeking smaller containers should contact city offices.
City commissioners listened to the presentation and then approved reducing the monthly charge for residential curbside refuse collection from $13.05 to $10.02.
Whittinghill said his company is considering locating a transfer station in Bessemer or Ironwood.
He encouraged city residents to recycle as much refuse as possible. There are four recycling locations throughout the city.
The city received five garbage collection bids, with Eagle Waste bidding the $10.02 per customer per month to collect waste from two 33-gallon containers.
Eagle Waste serves about 70 communities.
The bid also continues the current set-up of two city-wide clean-up days and the four recycling station locations.
City manager Scott Erickson said spring clean-up day in Ironwood will be on May 10 from 8 to 11 a.m. in the vacant lot on Ayer Street that has been used for that purpose for the past several years.
City resident Paul Grbavcich criticized the commission for accepting a bid that specified two 33-gallon containers, then switching to a single 64-gallon receptacle instead.