'Granny cans' available: Cullman offering smaller trash bins

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Amy Henderson, The Cullman Times, Ala.
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Feb. 23—The Cullman City Council did some trash talking at Monday night's meeting.

Councilman Johnny Cook announced that the city's annual spring cleanup pickup will take place March 29-April 2. It's an opportunity for people to dispose of items they can't normally include in their regular trash.

"We'll pick up most things," excluding hazardous waste, said Cook.

He emphasized that the spring cleanup with coincide with residents' regular trash collection. "It will be picked up on your regular trash day," he said.

Cook also shared that the city now has smaller trash cans, "granny cans," for people who don't need the larger bins. The city began automated trash pickup in November. The new system requires residents to use city-issued bins. Cook said some homeowners have said they don't need the larger 96-gallon bins.

"If you need a granny can, just call the sanitation department and they'll swap it out for you," he said.

Cook said the recycling program is "going well," since it resumed in August. He said one issue the city has had is with plastic food containers not being cleaned out before going into the recycling, and people putting plastic shopping bags in their recycling.

The bags are not recyclable and have to be removed. "It runs the cost of the program up because of the contamination," he said.

The council approved a resolution to apply for a $350,000 grant from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management for the recycling program. If awarded, the non-matching grant will be used for a specific project that will "enhance the recycling program and lower the cost," said Cook.

The council also approved capital improvement projects for the Cullman Regional Airport. The projects include reconstructing the 100-foot runway, replacing the automated weather station, constructing three new hangars and purchasing aviation easements and land.

Airport Manager Ben Harrison explained the projects to the council and also expressed his thanks to all the agencies who responded to the fatal airplane crash over the weekend.

Harrison noted that the airport is a joint operation and the emergency response plan includes multiple agencies. "I can't thank everyone enough that were involved," he said.

Harrison said the response included the Vinemont Fire Department, West Point Fire Department, Cullman Fire Department, EMS, EMA, Cullman Police Department, Sheriff's Office, coroner, state troopers and Evac.

"That shows unbelievable cooperation between all these responding agencies," said Harrison. "At the airport you never know if it's going to be one victim or multiple victims, so it's better to have everyone enroute and call them off as needed rather than not have enough people there."

He said the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are currently investigating the crash.

In other business, the council approved a resolution to seek a grant for walking trails at Burrow Hamilton Farm; approved a change order for improvements at NeSmith Park which will save the city $59,000; authorized the mayor to enter into a governmental agreement with Good Hope to receive wastewater from one lot near the Burrow's property; and approved a resolution to approve the reimbursement of expenditures for capital improvements with future bond proceeds.

Additionally, the council approved special event permits for a 10k run fundraiser Saturday, Feb. 27 from 8-10 a.m. for the Cullman High School Band Boosters and for a flea market fundraiser Saturday, March 20 from 8 a.m.-noon for St. Paul's Lutheran School.