Change coming to Lawrence trash service, jobs under question

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LAWRENCE – There are more worries over the future of jobs in the city of Lawrence and it’s part of a change that will affect every resident.

The Lawrence Common Council will vote Monday on a contract to privatize the city’s trash and recycling services.

Mayor Dean Jessup told Fox 59 that Republic Services, the company that would take over those services, has agreed to offer jobs to each of the nine current sanitation employees.

“They have assured me that every one of them will be hired,” Jessup said.

It’s not in writing though and when Fox 59 asked Jessup why not, he said that did not worry him.

“I wouldn’t expect a private company to sign a contract guaranteeing employment because what if this person turns out to be a mass murderer and you’ve guaranteed you’re going to pay them,” Jessup said.

Fox 59 has learned that, despite assurances they’ll be offered jobs, employees in the department are scared.

“I’d be worried sick. I really would,” said former city employee Joe Davenport.

In fact, Davenport worried the people of Lawrence don’t even know their trash service is about to change.

“There’s a lot of people in this city that (have) no idea that this is happening,” Davenport said.

Jessup, though, insisted the move alone will save the city millions and won’t change much at all for citizens.

“The only difference that I think the customer will notice is the color of the truck that’s picking up their trash and they’ll have an extra toter now for picking up recycles,” Jessup said.

The Common Council vote will happen at a meeting Monday night at 6:30 p.m.

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