WINNEBAGO - Winnebago is taking out the trash.
In June, the City Council approved the purchase of three 3-yard dumpsters, so residents can clean up their yards and houses. The dumpsters are available for free, and the city pays to remove them.
The dumpsters went out for the first time recently and there is a short waiting list, according to City Administrator Chris Ziegler.
The idea for purchasing the dumpsters came about because Police Chief Bob Toland had compiled a list of about 30 properties in town that needed to be cleaned up. The council debated options, including a citywide cleanup, before settling on the dumpster idea because it was cost-effective.
Ziegler calculated that if each dumpster goes out every week of the year, it will cost the city $10,000 annually, at most. A citywide cleanup would cost between $15,000 and $20,000, making it difficult to fit into the budget.
"This way, we have a cap," he said. "The more I worked on it, the more sense that it made."
The dumpsters actually arrived in July, but "it's taken us some time to put the policy together," Ziegler said.
A resident must read the policy and sign an agreement before a dumpster is delivered to their property by B&B Sanitation of Winnebago.
Dumpsters arrive on Thursday and stay for a week. A resident can have the dumpster once during the year for free; additional dumps will cost the property owner $75 each.
Acceptable items to put in the dumpster include furniture, clothes, toys, mattresses, box springs and carpet, to name a few.
Unlike weekly garbage pickups, items don't have to be bagged; they can just be thrown in the dumpster.
The policy has a complete list of unacceptable items and penalties for illegal materials.
Winnebago residents who wish to borrow a dumpster can call (507) 893-3217. Forms are available on the city's website at www.cityofwinnebago.com
Paper forms are available at City Hall, either on the front counter or in the vestibule, so residents can pick them up after hours.
"We want to make it as easy as we can for residents to take advantage of," he said.