Newspaper Archive of
Mercer Island Reporter
Mercer Island, Washington
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June 29, 1994     Mercer Island Reporter
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June 29, 1994
 

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Wednesday, June 29,1994 Alternatives. . . Continuedvfrom A1. $10.75 in January, he said. Islanders who use the do-it— yourself approach to garbage have different motives and differ- ent views on cost-benefit equa- tion. Some say it is cheaper. Some say it’s not. “It’s not a cost—saving thing,” said Dick Saulsman, a retired Boeing manager. “You spend a lot of time on it and your time is worth something.” He has not subscribed to the garbage service for at least 20 years. Saulsman and his wife, El- lie, recycle all they can. Some items, such as dirty plastics, can- not be recycled. Those items col- lect in eight garbage cans behind their house. “About every two months, I take a load to the dis- posal site in Bellevue.” He drives his 1976 GMC, full-size pickup. “I enjoy working and doing those kinds of things. It doesn’t bother me,” Saulsman said. “Particularly since I’ve been re— tired, I can pick a time of day when there’s no line. “But people who’re working every day until 5 o’clock may not want to spend their free time hauling garbage . . . It’s not a great place to go. It’s smelly. The kids can’t get out. I wouldn’t rec- ommend it as a family outing.” The disposal station in Factoria charges a minimum $9.28 per vehicle, and about 3 cents a pound for pickup loads over 280 pounds. On average, Saulsman said, he pays $15 per trip. ART DUSTO, a Boeing engi— neer and Island resident since 1966, is a do-it-yourself garbage hauler also. His long, steep drive- way above West Mercer Way is his primary motivation, he said. “We would have to carry the garbage cans all the way down to the road. Our driveway is more than a 20 percent grade,” Dusto said. He never compared the costs before. “I’ve just done it Mercer Island PET GROCERY Blindillll‘OUr /"ooo , for a free sample - ~ of our Gourmet Dog BIS C U I T S 2729 78th Ave. SE a . so BELLEVUE I . 747-01 50 14339 N.E. 20m Mon-Fri 96, Sat. 10-6, Sun .11-5 2815- ‘Hundreds of In-Stock Patterns 20-30% FF Selected Wallpaper Books 7 Check out our “check -out” policy. Wallpaper; to go“ Andrea Marchese Jim Pangborn senior takes his household garbage from Mercer Island to his business in Issaquah where he pays for the dumpster service. myself for close to 30 years. I don’t think I could do it the other way.” He bought a trash compactor, and his family separates recycl— ing materials. When he shops for new cars, Dusto said, he looks for hatchbacks so he can haul the trash bags. Once a month, he goes to the Factoria disposal station where he deposits the garbage and recycled materials. Custom— ers in cars pay the minimum fee at the disposal station. ON THE OTHER side of West Mercer Way, Victor and Ann Barto have a steep driveway too. Walking up it tests the endurance of a healthy person, even without a heavy trash can to carry. Ann Barto says that trash is not a problem. They reduce waste and recycle as much as they can. Occasionally, their son hauls their garbage to the disposal site. “It’s less difficult than coping with the garbage men and their rules and noisy trucks,” she said. The cost factor is less impor- tant than the convenience factor, Victor Barto said. “It is actually more of an inconvenience for me to take it to the top of the drive- way than to take it to the dump.” But if the garbage collectors would come down to his house and pick up his cans, he would pay for the convenience, Barto said. JANET AND NOEL COOK pay very little for garbage disposal. “It costs $10 bucks, twice a year,” says Noel. “I didn’t believe in having someone come to get five cans when only half a can was full,” he said. “One time, years ago, we DEDICATE YOUR PARTICIPATION IN HONOR OF SOMEONE WHO HAS FOUGHT CANCER RUN & WALK E] m SUNDAY, lULYlO, 1994 For more information, call 667-6559 SEATTLE'S manslang , ‘UN‘NI‘NG‘SI WWI-Na v EV‘EN‘T‘TV _, '1‘ Benefitlng FRED HUICHINSON ER RESEARCH CENTER ‘SEATTLE’ O HARDWARE LET’S GET DOWN TO EARTH Just because we are surrounded by wate doesn’t mean we waste it. THU-TEST recycles over 80% of the water used in processing our latex paints. 1'RU-1'E81: PAINTS LYNNWOOD 774-9646 19417 361h Ave. W. Mon-Fri 9-8,.S_at. 10-6, Sun 11-5 ‘232-7‘282 76th Ave - MBF‘CBI" Island 7 MEIIN :II 750 of the latest Wallpapers had it collected. They came early and banged the cans around. It wasn’t convenient.” For the Cooks, efficiency is their motto. They recycle bottles, cans, paper and compost. They produce little garbage. “We al- ways believed in recycling before the word was even invented. We used to take in our scrap metal and paper before there was a re— cycling center,” said Noel, who works in the book binding busi- ness. They compact their leftover trash until it fills five cans. About twice a year, Noel said, he takes their garbage to Bellevue in his station wagon. MANY MERCER ISLANDERS own businesses, and some, like Jane Eagle for a sale so speci 35-5 Rates. . . Continued from A1. fore the Utility Board at City Hall last week. Ellen Jeffcott and Jay Page questioned the necessity and the amount of the increase when they spoke at the hearing June 21. However, members of the Util- ity Board said a rate increase is justified and the board will most likely recommend the rate hike be approved by the City Council. “It seems to me we’re caught in a Catch 22. As residents, we were asked to reduce and recycle. Now we’re being punished be- cause we did,” said Jeffcott. The garbage company should cut costs instead of raising rates, she suggested. Island customers can- not judge whether the company’s business costs are reasonable be- cause Eastside Disposal is a pri- vate business, and its operating costs are not public information. Jim Pangborn, take their house— hold garbage to work. “We don’t have much,” said the Island resi— dent and owner of Eastside Equipment and Marine in Issaquah. “I just take a garbage bag once a week to work in the truck and put it in my dumpster.” He pays $65 a month for the in— dustrial-size dumpster at his com- pany. Some Islanders have taken a less—than—legal approach when it comes to saving money on their garbage disposal. The number of illegal dumping incidents is in- creasing, according to Boettcher, who investigates illegal dumping reports. - Banks and other businesses in downtown Mercer Island report their dumpsters being filled with Q. We see your name on waterfront listings all over the island. Do you have other inventory that would be affordable for us? A. Yes, You Bet! We have a wonderful townhouse listed in the lslandaire Condominium Complex for $201,000; A home in island pint that is in PERFECT condition with a beautiful garden and has a den and an office for $479,000; A home with a view on the South end of the island that has a Kitchen/ Family room that is priced at $635,000; We have listed lots from $75,000 on the Eastside to view lots on the Westside from $35,0(XI to waterfront lots that start at $1,025,000 with city and lake view! So' for all your real estate needs, from convenient condo living to luxury waterfront estate always call Jane Eagle and Kris Robbs at 232-4600 or 654-2967. Comeein now OUR ORIGINAL PRICES Mercer Island Reporter she said. “One disadvantage to privatization of public services is that once the information gets be- yond the reach of the public, we can’t explain why their expenses are so high.” ALAN MERKLE, a member of the Utility Board, responded. In the past, he said, the Washington Utility and Transportation Com— mission has audited the books of the garbage company to make sure its business costs and profits are reasonable. Mercer Island may order a de tailed, professional audit of the company at any time. However, the Utility Board is satisfied with the UTC results for now, Merkle said. Jay Page, the other citizen at the hearing, said Mercer Island should open the garbage service to competitive bids more often. Bids have not been accepted for 10 years, according to board members. household trash illegally more of- ten, Boettcher said. If caught, illegal dumpers may face a fine, Boettcher said. In his eyes, the risk is not worthwhile because the cost for Eastside Dis-‘ posal service, while increasing, is still not much more than two mov- ie tickets. “I guess it’s a personal thing,” said one Island resident, who re quested anonymity. It seems wrong to pay even for a small can that is not full, he said. He recy- cles paper, cans and bottles, keeps a compost heap and puts kitchen waste in a worm box. The left over garbage is a tiny amount. It winds up in the cus— tomer trash bin at the supermar- ket where he shops. “It’s for the customers and I am a customer.” Kris Robbs cl" it only happens twice a‘yeclr. % Come in to Talbots Kids and save on colorful spring and summer clothes for boys and girls, sizes 4-14. But don’t wait, quantities are limited. Bellevue Square (next to Talbots), BeIIeVue. Tel. 450—3375 Himm‘e ,..,,_ A,..,-.,,c._a~..,~....- ,r .. - . .m-