It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it

Charles Maricle

Charles Maricle

The Landscape and Grounds division of the Physical Plant has an average annual budget close to $100,000 just for garbage pick-up.

“To say we have X amount of dollars to haul trash on this campus, it really doesn’t even work in that kind of language,” said Lynne Finn, assistant director of the Physical Plant. “It just depends on the season,” Finn said.

The money is divided in salaries, rent and maintenance of the garbage truck., landfill costs, and any bin and receptacle repair or replacement.

Six full-time equipment employees and one garbage truck compose the Grounds Shop.

This force must collect all trash on campus. This means all the big bins for the residence halls, food services, farm units and academic buildings. It also means emptying the small receptacles scattered around campus and any hand picking-up that might be necessary.

The garbage truck is rented from Fleet and Travel for $5,000. The backend attachment is owned by SDSU but the cab is rented. The rental price includes refueling the truck.

The landfill cost is money paid to the city of Brookings to dump trash at their site. This annually costs $35,000 for an average of 1,300 to 1,400 tons of trash.

The two determinants of what Residential Life and ultimately the students get charged depends on the type of service and the amount of trash.

Type of service stands for the frequency of garbage collection. Currently, garbage is collected once a day and twice a day on Mondays and Fridays.

This year, Residential Life paid $47,500 for trash collection. The cost has risen recently but not by a significant amount said Doug Wermedal, assistant dean for Student Affairs.

“The campus seems pretty clean. It’s the dorm rooms that can get pretty nasty,” said freshman Matt Sticha, a resident of Binneweis Hall.

The garbage service is one of a myriad of responsibilities the Landscape and Grounds division of Physical Plant must handle.

“Our job is to keep campus looking good, and we try our hardest,” said Larry Schumann, building maintenance coordinator.

“It’s something that you don’t really notice that often, that must mean they’re doing a good job,” said George Kohlmann, a former resident of Berg Hall.