Trash-bag brouhaha: Chelsea residents say see-through sacks violate their privacy
Tags or bags?
Some Chelsea residents say the 30-gallon orange trash bags they must use for collection are too flimsy and easy to see through.
One solution suggested Tuesday at the City Council meeting: Tags or stickers that would allow residents to use bags of their choosing.
Chelsea residents pay $2.50 for each trash bag, and they must pick up the city-issued bags at City Hall or four other locations in and around the city. The bags come in packs of 10. Residents can put out as many bags as they’d like.
Complaints about the system started after the city switch from 33- to 30-gallon bags in June 2010 as a cost-savings measure.
Marilyn Mink of Chelsea said she hates the new bags and double bags her trash.
"It's a matter of privacy," she said. "People don't want everyone seeing what's in their trash."
“These are the same 1.5-mill (strength) bags, but they’re tinted and residents haven’t liked it,” said John Elliott, the supervisor of the city’s Solid Waste Department.
“People have even shown their displeasure with the bags by putting notes on them,” Elliott said.
Mink said since she purchases her own black garbage bags to go inside the city-issued ones and said adding a tag with a city sticker would be an improvement.
According to information from Resourceful Bag & Tag of Palos Heights, Ill., the company that manufactures tags, if they are applied correctly to a trash bag, they won't fall off.
In addition, the tag can’t be stolen because it’s unusable when it’s removed from the bag’s neck or placed through the handle of a trash can.
A supply of 75,000 tags would cost the city $2,025, while 75,000 opaque trash bags cost $12,285, according to a quote from Resourceful Bag & Tag.
“If we go back to 33-gallon bags, we may have to raise the price,” of trash pick-up Elliott said.
The city’s current trash bag supply, which was purchased from a different company, is expected to be used up by June. Elliott said he’ll need to place a new order for either stickers or bags in the next six weeks.
It's expected that the City Council will act on any proposed changes in the next month.
Lisa Allmendinger is a reporter with AnnArbor.com. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more Chelsea stories, visit our Chelsea page.