By Cassie McClure and Suzanne Michaels
Published in the Las Cruces Sun-News 8/18/19
The Las Cruces Utilities (LCU) Grappler is not just for residential pickup of large, bulky items; it’s ready to assist businesses, too. For residences, the fee for monthly grappler pickup of big items is already included in solid waste rates. For businesses, all the owner has to do is call Customer Service at (575) 541-2111 to request the grappler. There is a one-time fee for businesses depending on whether the big trash fills the Grappler by ¼, ½, ¾, or totally full. The fee starts at $108.25 and could go up to $434.14.
Sometimes businesses have large trash items that either don’t fit into an already full commercial dumpster or are too heavy to lift into the dumpster – and end up stacked around the dumpster. LCU Deputy Director for Solid Waste, Robin Lawrence, explains: “All of our trucks are automated. Our drivers don’t get out and put extra items into the truck for you, they only pick up and empty the dumpster - if the forks on the truck can reach it.”
Some Las Cruces businesses are stacking bagged trash around their dumpsters or piling up and storing pallets and crates in the space around the dumpster, which prevents the driver from reaching the dumpster. In those situations, the driver will skip the pickup and return at a later time for an additional fee.
If trash is starting to pile up near your commercial bin, call customer service to order the Grappler to make sure that your business doesn’t face a City Code violation. According to Section 25-68 of the City of Las Cruces Municipal Code: “The owner, tenant or lessee shall be responsible for maintaining the area around mechanically transported containers in a clean sanitary condition free of weeds, tall grass, and solid waste.”
Over time, a growing business may need to adjust its solid waste disposal schedule. If a commercial dumpster is over-serviced - the lid does not close and trash is spilling out of the container - for two service pickups during a consecutive twelve-month period…the commercial customer will be placed on the higher disposal plan and billed accordingly, based on the LCU Solid Waste tariff.
The more frequent servicing and higher rate stays in place for at least twelve billing months before the customer can request a lower rate. That means at the bottom level rates, when the bin is only serviced once a week, an overfilled rate could go from $64.00 to $95.00 per week, and service could be up to three times a week.
“To avoid that, I would recommend a one-time Grappler service, especially if a business owner knows that they might have a higher volume for one or two weeks,” said Lawrence.
You can reach Las Cruces Utilities at 528-3500 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Las Cruces Utilities provides GAS – WATER – WASTEWATER – SOLID WASTE services to approximately 100,000 Las Cruces residents and businesses.
PHOTO 1: Managing solid waste is just a part of taking care of business. If extra trash around your commercial dumpster is an obstacle to your business running smoothly, please call Las Cruces Utilities customer service at (575) 541-2111 for solutions and to avoid Code violations.