As part of an ongoing conversation on how to best manage the city’s garbage, Arma officials are discussing the possibility of creating a city trash service.

As part of an ongoing conversation on how to best manage the city’s garbage, Arma officials are discussing the possibility of creating a city trash service.
The idea has been broached at several city council meetings over the past year, but it may soon gain more traction, as a committee is being formed to discuss city garbage and recycling issues.
City Administrator Tim Schook said while there is not yet a formal proposal or business plan for a city trash service, there are numerous reasons why it would benefit the city and why it’s being considered.
For starters, offering a city trash service would bring in extra revenue for the city. And at a time when the economic downturn has hurt local budgets, any extra money would be helpful — especially if it helps the city avoid tax increases.
“It would be another way of making the city some money,” Schook said. “I think if it’s managed right, it could be a good thing for the city. It could help keep taxes low.”
Another major benefit for the city would be the reduced trash truck traffic on city streets. Schook said Arma residents have their trash picked up by at least five different companies, which leads to almost daily routes through Arma.
The size and weight of the trucks causes significant wear and tear on city streets, which in turns leads to both more frequent maintenance work — when the money is available — and lower-quality streets.
“When you have that many big trucks coming through your town, it causes problems,” Schook said. “Big, heavy trucks are very hard on your streets.”
Schook said the thought for a  city-run trash service would be to have just one truck that would pick up trash just once a week.
“If we do it, we’re talking one truck, one day a week,” he said. “We wouldn’t be destroying our streets.”
As for the cost to Arma residents, Schook said he believes the city could charge prices similar to those of private companies.