Shelbyville's city council said Tuesday they would be opening a can of worms if they began providing Dumpster service at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.
Public works director Mark Clanton told the council that The Celebration contacted him several weeks ago asking if the city could provide garbage pickup since they had withdrawn from their contract with the firm Waste Management.
Clanton said that they wanted to put everything in Dumpsters, to which councilman Lee Roy Cunningham said was "bad timing" due to the recent controversy over an $11 monthly trash fee.
Councilman Thomas Landers also passed along to the council that Doyle Meadows, Celebration CEO, stated that "he knew his timing was awful and if we opted not to, there would be no hard feelings and that he would understand the dilemma we were in."
Even though the ordinance that deals with the rules behind the trash fee hasn't had a third reading and public hearing yet, which is set for November, Clanton said that the city could charge the Celebration $100 per dumpster, which would more than cover the expense.
How many Dumpsters would depend on the event: the Celebration in August would mean about 100 Dumpsters during a two week period. In other situations, when a Dumpster is full, they would call the city.
But councilman Thomas Landers asked about the possibility of another firm or business asking to have the city do pickups for $100.
"That's a can of worms right there," Cunningham said.
"That's the dilemma, that's why I'm standing before this table," Clanton told the council, adding, "We will make a profit off this."
Councilman Al Stephenson said it would need to be a good profit because it would wear out the city's equipment much faster.
City attorney Ginger Shofner stated that if the city does trash pickup for one group, it would set a precedent.
At times, trash would be taken to the city's transfer station by Celebration personnel, Clanton said and Cunningham suggested that if they recycled, there wouldn't be much trash out there.
"If we all did that, the city wouldn't have much garbage," he said. But Clanton said he has been trying for 11 years to bring a recycling program to the city, "but we don't have the money for the equipment."
Also, Clanton said he had been attempting to get 100 percent grants for recycling, "but the county has it all sewed up" because there is a countywide recycling program.
City manager Michael Dill said if the council wants him to look into recycling, there are other options and companies the city could deal with, some that could mean a return, others that could cost the city.
But Cunningham, who is also a member of the county's solid waste authority, said that keeping trash out of the landfill would save the city money, stating that the county already saves a considerable amount by doing so.