The large item disposal period in La Crosse is drawing to a close.
The final count isn’t in, but typically it’s hundreds of mattresses along with tables, chairs and dressers and all sorts of other furniture pieces that get collected during a roughly month-long period in the city during the spring.
And that’s just the legal stuff. Unfortunately, says Mayor Tim Kabat, there’s way more than that getting dumped on the city, which is why he wants to evaluate the entire large item program.
“We do need to look at where this program goes next year,” he said. “I am a bit concerned, as well, with the amount and the scope of how this has grown over the past several years.”
Kabat is worried the program encourages illegal dumping in the city by some in surrounding communities.
“It’s one thing, of course, to offer this as a service and try to keep certain, kind of dense neighborhoods cleaned up,” he said. “But, it’s another thing, if this is just going to snowball. That’s what I’m really worried about right now.”
Kabat did not share with us any specific plans for change.
“We need to access if it’s doing what it’s intended to do or if we are now seeing a lot of solid waste and other materials that are being dumped into the neighborhood that city taxpayers are having to pick up,” Kabat said.
The city budgeted $105,000 to pay for large item disposal this year — most of what is tossed out is in the predominantly college neighborhoods.
The city started the one month free disposal period when it shifted to a single stream recycling system in 2014.