Rustic Hills is doing something I think is a no-brainer for every neighborhood.
In fact, I can’t understand why it hasn’t spread citywide. It’s so simple, it’s brilliant.
What makes Rustic Hills a bunch of Einsteins?
The Rustic Hills Improvement Association, its voluntary neighborhood association, signed a three-year contract to have its 205 property owners’ garbage collected once a week by a single trash company at a significant discount to each.
No longer must they listen to two or three trucks a day roaring around the neighborhood.
They don’t have to worry as much about the safety of kids playing outside.
Nor must they see garbage cans sitting around, day after day, getting knocked over by animals.
Did I mention they are getting this service at a discount upwards of $45 a month for some?
Hoover said the RHIA board had tried for years to organize a consolidated trash service.
But the board couldn’t find a company willing to deal with its unique situation.
Rustic Hills, on Colorado Springs’ east side, is different than most with its large lots — an acre or two each, mostly — built largely along on gravel roads to accommodate 40 properties with horses and barns.
Of course, houses with horses means trash with manure in it. A lot of companies don’t want harvest road apples.
So the RHIA board had to find a flexible company and convince homeowners to be flexible, as well. Many didn’t want to give up their favorite trash hauler.
It’s important to note this is not one of those homeowners associations with mandatory covenants and dues allowing board members to dictate to residents.
Rustic Hills’ board had to be neighborly and convince folks to try the service.
Of the 160 homes along gravel roads, all but 15 or so have agreed to participate in the new consolidated trash service from Waste Connections.
Hoover hopes to get the rest signed up in a few months, along with the 45 homeowners who live on Constitution Avenue.
The lure? The $15 monthly fee that buys weekly garbage and bi-weekly single-stream recycling, with a per-pound reward program.
Most save enough each month to pay RHIA’s whopping annual dues of $25!
“We’re really proud of ourselves,” Hoover said. “It saves people a lot of money and it’s going to help our roads.”
“This was a test case for us,” Baker said. “We have a couple other neighborhoods we’re looking to do it with.”
Hoover said he’d like to see RHIA’s program spread:
“Perhaps this will be a new trend across the city.”
Maybe. Are there any more Einsteins out there?