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      Quincy considers changes to garbage collection

      UPDATED: August 5 at 8:14 p.m. The City of Quincy is tired of wasting money on waste.Monday night, the city's finance and central service committees voted to request information from private companies to see how much money it would cost to outsource the city's garbage and recycling.City crews handle both programs currently.The garbage and recycling budget has run a deficit the past few years, losing about $800,000 per year.Now, city officials want to examine the benefits of keeping those services in house or outsourcing.Of the 9 garbage and recycling trucks that were purchased in 2001, three are out of service right now.The city will wait for the proposals to come in, then the council will review the numbers.ORIGINAL STORY: August 2 Over the last five years, the City of Quincy's garbage and recycling program has had a deficit averaging about $830,000 a year.

      That's why the city is looking at the possibility of turning over garbage and recycling collections to a private company.

      City officials want to stress that no final decision has been made and that this discussion is in the very early stages.

      On any given weekday in Quincy, 10 city workers make their rounds to pick up trash and recyclable materials. The city's fleet of seven trucks that they use daily is more than a decade old.

      "We have mechanical issues, we have physical body issues, we have actual drive train issues with the motors. The other mechanical is with the trash systems in the bodies," Marty Stegeman, the Director of Central Services said.

      Maintenance on those trucks averages about $40,000 per year for each truck, which is part of the reason why the budget is in the red.

      Glenda Hackemack is the Director of Administrative Services for the City of Quincy and she said, "With the deficit that continues to grow with the garbage and recycling program, we need to be proactive and that is what this administration is doing. Part of our responsibility is to make sure the city stays clean and we want to provide the best services for the community and for the taxpayers because that's what we're here for."

      Both Hackemack and Stegeman stress that nothing is changing now with the city's garbage collection service.

      Hackemack did say the city is looking at trying to contain costs and this is just one way of possibly doing that in the future.

      Quincy is one of the few municipalities with city-operated garbage collection.

      For example, in Macomb Illinois, a private hauler handles garbage collection and each household is charged $16.75 a month.