Automated Collection Program Saves Over $1 Million a Year

November 18, 2008

A report on the status of the City's automated collection program for refuse and recycling shows that the program is saving Madison taxpayers over $1.4 million annually. The Streets Division prepared the report for the Common Council.

"We are very pleased with the way the new program is operating," Street Superintendent Al Schumacher said. "The program has exceeded our expectations"

Among the reports findings was that the cost of worker's compensation for refuse and recycling declined from $111,000 in for January-August 2005 to $36,068 in for a similar period in 2007. That represents a 67% decrease.

Collection costs for recycling dropped from $3.3 million in 2005 to $1.9 million in 2007. Since the automated refuse program did not start until September of 2007, a complete analysis of refuse collection will be done in 2009 when more complete data is available.

"The decrease in collection costs occurred at the same time that we added over 3,400 households to our customer base," Schumacher said. "There is every reason to believe that the automated refuse collection program is duplicating the success of the recycling program."

When the automated system was first proposed in 2004, a staff team estimated annual savings of as much as $500,000 per year when the new program was fully implemented. To date, the program is exceeding those estimates and the future looks even brighter.

A complete copy of the report is available at www.cityofmadison.com/streets.

Contact:
  • George P. Dreckmann, 267-2626