Trash talk with Mayor Chase


Each month, residents of the City of Monticello get a post card sized bill in the mail that has a break down of water, sewer and trash charges. This bill is sent from City Hall and is charged based on the residents usage of gallons of water per month and weight of trash per month.

According to City officials, there is a formula used that calculates the residents sewer charge based on the amount of water that is used.

The City of Monticello has four Wards and each Ward has a specific trash pick-up day of the week: Ward 1 Monday, Ward 2 Tuesday, Ward 3 Thursday, Ward 4 Friday. Wednesday is reserved for special pick up items and, if there is a holiday on one of the other four days of the week, that Ward’s trash will be picked up on Wednesday instead of the holiday.

Green trash bins have been seen laying on their side and in the middle of City streets after they have been emptied. The Advance sat down with Mayor Chase to address these issues and “talk trash”.

“The City operates a garbage truck with a mechanical arm,” Chase stated. “There is one driver in the cab of the truck and he is instructed not to leave the vehicle. The mechanical arm is not flexible like a human, it has a fixed range of motion. The trash bins are to be placed on a flat, level surface, near the road so that the bin may be accessed safely by the truck. If there is a vehicle parked beside your trash bin and the driver cannot safely empty your bin, it will be skipped.”

The Mayor said that the City uses this type of trash truck because it is not safe to have employees riding on the back of a trash truck and emptying trash cans by hand. A driving factor is safety and lowering workers compensation rates so that the savings can be passed on to employees with salaries or incentives.

Complaints have been called in to City Hall and posted on social media, criticizing the City, it’s employees and it’s equipment when trash is not picked up. To ensure all bins are emptied, the City produced a list of guidelines to help make sure the process is clear to all citizens.

*Have carts out by 7 a.m. to ensure pick-up on your Wards scheduled collection day

*Place carts on a flat, level surface

*All material must fit into cart and the lid must close

*Place all items in bags

*Cleaning the cart is the responsibility of the resident

*The silver bar on the cart should be placed towards the street

*The cart must be at least three feet from other carts, poles, vehicles and other objects

*Do not leave the cart by the street permanently, carts must be removed from the street within 24 hours of pick-up

*Items placed beside the carts will not be picked up

*Do not place hazardous material in the cart

*Do not place any other carts out for pick-up. Only City of Monticello carts will be emptied

*Do not place yard trash into carts, call City Hall for special pick-up

Each resident has one assigned bin to their address. Additional bins may be purchased at City Hall. If a resident moves, the additionally purchased bin may move with you, the original bin must stay at the residence.

“Our employees have never intentionally not picked up someones trash,” Chase stated. “If a house was missed, chances are, there was something in the way that prevented the driver from properly emptying the bin.”

The Mayor added that small amounts of construction debris can be taken by the City but must be called in for special pick-up. All other debris is to be taken to the County landfill. Tree limbs may also be picked up on Wednesday’s and the City recommends the leaves and limbs be bagged.

“We pay for our trash by weight,” Chase added. “This is why we ask that the lid on the bin be closed. If we get a lot of rain, the water gets in the bin and therefore into the trash truck. This can be a cause of extra weight resulting in a higher bill. We have the ability to pick-up hard furniture but anything soft such as a mattress or sofa, does not need to be left outside by the bin over night. Soft objects absorb moisture and dew. We ask that soft objects not be put outside for pick-up until the morning of that Ward’s scheduled pick-up day.”

As many employers are experiencing some degree of worker shortage, the City of Monticello is no different.

“We are not a huge corporation that has an unlimited supply of workers,” Chase said. “Our employees are doing the best the can to maintain and keep things flowing.”

If you have questions or concerns about a trash route, call 870-367-4400.

To review City recycling guidelines, please see the Community Calendar on Page 2 of the Advance.

To view an updated map of City Ward’s in Monticello, visit for a full color map.


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