Cedar Rapids spurs first garbage collection change in 18 years

The first big changes to the Cedar Rapids garbage collection schedule in 18 years began on Monday, Feb. 19, 2018. (File photo)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Expected growth tied to the Highway 100 extension has triggered the first big changes to garbage collection in Cedar Rapids in 18 years, a city official said.

Affected Cedar Rapids solid waste and recycling customers already have been contacted. Those who have not been contacted will not be affected.

The new curbside collection schedule began Monday and will continue as routes cycle through this week.

“Some of the reasons we are doing this is to be prepared for what growth we might see in the Highway 100 corridor because southwest is already stressed. So we are trying to get ahead of that,” Steve Hershner, Cedar Rapids utilities director, told the infrastructure committee late last year.

According to a city presentation, the changes will affect about 2,300 customers or 5.5 percent of the 42,000 solid waste and recycling customers. Of those, 1,737 will have their collection day later in the week, and 563 — all in the southwest quadrant — will have their collection day moved earlier to Monday.

Hershner said the switch rebalances the collection loads more evenly between Monday and Friday.

In particular, it lightens the load Mondays, which had been the busiest collection day and concentrated in the southwest quadrant. Friday, which had the lightest load, will see the biggest increase in collections.

Among the changes, according to the presentation:

l Collection will shift from Monday to Tuesday or Wednesday for 1,011 northwest residents.

l Collection will move from Tuesday to Monday for 563 southwest residents.

l Collection will move from Wednesday to Thursday for 168 northeast residents.

l Collection move from Wednesday to Friday for 556 southeast residents.

“The goal is to provide some accommodation for growth, so we don’t have to do this again for three to five years,” Hershner said.

The extension of Highway 100 from Collins Road and Edgewood Road to Highway 30 is expected to unleash development along the new beltway. The project is expected to be completed in 2020.

City Council member Scott Olson, who leads the infrastructure committee, applauded the changes. “It’s good to rebalance,” he said.