By Cassie McClure
Published in Las Cruces Sun-News 12/20/2020.
The letter that accompanies the Las Cruces Utilities (LCU) 2021 Grappler schedule will let Las Cruces residents know what their regular day for trash pickup will be in 2021. For 25 percent of residents, their day will change and the notice is currently hitting mailboxes.
“We want to let residents know as soon as possible, before January 1st, if they are part of those whose trash day will change,” Robin Lawrence, LCU deputy director Solid Waste, said. “It’s understandable to have your trash day set in your mind and put your container out in the morning before you leave for work, or the night before when you get home.”
“The mailing for the Grappler arrives every year to residents, so this is a perfect way for customers to confirm their trash day,” Lawrence said. As part of the LCU Solid Waste Services, the Grappler is a monthly residential service included at no additional cost. It picks up large, bulky trash items that are too big to fit into the brown City trash containers. Also, monthly on the same day, the Green Grappler picks up yard waste – which must be in clear bags – for all residential homes. All items for the regular or Green Grapplers must be out by 6 a.m.
The change in routes is due to the growth of the city and future anticipated growth. LCU services roughly 38,000 residential and 3,695 commercial containers, Monday through Friday. There are currently nine residential routes and six commercial routes run daily and LCU predicts the Solid Waste customer base will potentially increase by 25 percent over the next five years. This information is based on the current permits and plan reviews for master planned subdivisions and the number of residential lots expected.
LCU enlisted a consultant, Easy Route, a subsidiary of Routeware, LCU’s on-board Solid Waste technology, to help analyze how routes operate in detail. The trucks on the routes collected data over the last year and the consultants discovered that some routes are overly burdened in comparison with others.
Lawrence explained that right now routes farther away from the transfer station take longer to complete and these are also the routes that have the most growth.
“Some routes have 616 containers, some have as high as 1,552,” Lawrence said. “Balancing the number of pickups on the routes will help spread the workload and will provide more efficient service that our customers see weekly.”
LCU can be reached at 575-528-3500 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. LCU provides services to approximately 100,000 Las Cruces residents and businesses.
PHOTO 1: Check your LCU Grappler mailing in December. Some Las Cruces customers will have a new trash pickup day for their Solid Waste, Grappler, and recycling in January 2021.