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Enterprise Journal

Holt Services gives Osage their two-week notice; Red Can to assume waste management duties

Sep 08, 2020 07:44PM ● By Savannah Howe
The Osage City Council met in regular assembly on Tuesday evening, September 8, where Mayor Steve Cooper announced that Holt Sanitation Services, the waste management company that provides trash disposal services to Osage, has given the city an end date of September 19 for their services. 

According to the council, Holt was given a 30-day notice requesting an improvement in service quality from the city on August 22 following a history of untimely and unsatisfactory service. Officials said that, while waiting on Holt to either follow through with the improvements or terminate their contract, an exchange of responsibility to Red Can Sanitation, a locally-owned waste disposal company, was discussed. 

Mayor Cooper reported that he asked Holt owner Donna Holt for a written correspondence of the company's intention to either continue with satisfactory services to the city or withdraw their services. Cooper received said correspondence on September 4, where Holt reportedly informed the city that services would end on September 19. The council stated that a temporary contract with Red Can Sanitation is in place to assume immediate control of the city's waste management needs. 

Cooper said that trash and recycling materials will continue to be picked up by the Mason-City-based company through the end of next week; he also reported that Holt management has approached Red Can with an offer to hire them for trash pickup services next week, citing truck maintenance issues that will make Holt unable to do so.

The mayor said that Ryan Kittleson, owner of Red Can, has been very helpful with the transition to a new waste management services company. "I would like to thank you for cooperating with the city and making this thing work."

"[Kittleson] has been more than willing to continue on the contract," Cooper said, "to take over garbage and recyclables."

However, the Holt trash pickup stickers that are currently circulating through town are an issue. If Red Can picks up trash with Holt services, there is no profit for Red Can.

Osage officials said that the Holt contract isn't set to expire for two more years, and expressed concern regarding residents who purchase large amounts of Holt stickers at a time. Kittleson told the council that Red Can stickers are a different style than Holt's. 

The city discussed footing the price of replacing all existing Holt stickers for sale with Red Can ones, but the Osage-based sanitation company said that Holt stickers can be honored up until 30 days after they have been replaced by Red Can ones in the stores that sell them. 

It was not said when the switch in Osage's businesses that sell Holt stickers will take place. 

For residents who have already bought a Holt sticker supply, the city discussed allowing them to be exchanged at City Hall at no cost to the resident—but those details haven't been finalized yet. 

The council commended Kittleson's willingness to be flexible with the city as uncertain details about waste management become concrete. 

“Ryan [Kittleson] and Red Can have been a huge supporter of the chamber, sponsoring nearly every event that we’ve held," said Kati Henry, Executive Director of the Osage Chamber of Commerce. "We appreciate keeping the business local."

A final contract between Osage and Red Can will be presented at the next regular assembly of the council. 

Kittleson did not respond to an immediate request for comment from Enterprise Journal on if and how specifics of trash pickup will change.