The article that was headlined “Council Expected To Approve “Noncontroversial” purchase of Yard Waste Bins” on Wednesday, Dec. 27 has major mistake right there in the headline.

And, unfortunately, the mistake is repeated in the article, which many of our astute readers noted.

The headline and article state that the City Council was expected to approve $369,000 to “purchase” 75,000 yard waste bins.  Simple division shows that the cost of the 95-gallon yard waste cans would be less than $5 each, or about the same as blended and frapped coffee.

The $369,000 is not for the purchase of the yard waste bins, but for their assembly and delivery, which the city decided to outsource to Shaefer Plastics North America LLC. The yard waste bins have to be assembled because they are shipped without the wheels and lids attached. So, the $369,000 contract that the City Council is expected to approve is to contract with Shaefer Plastics to put the wheels and lids on the yard waste bins and then deliver them to every residence in Greensboro. Plus, the delivery process involves matching the serial number of the bin to the address.

The actual cost of the yard waste bins is considerably more than $369,000.  The cost to purchase the yard waste bins is $3,747,000. So the yard waste bins cost $49.96 apiece and then the city will spend another $4.92 apiece to have them assembled and delivered.

The total cost to the city of purchasing the 75,000 yard waste bins, having them assembled and delivered to residences in Greensboro is $4.1 million.

However, according to city staff, spending this $4.1 million and ending loose leaf collection will result in a savings to the city of $10 million over the next 15 years.

Once the yard waste bins are delivered the city will only collect yard waste that is placed in the 95-gallon bin or in biodegradable paper bags.