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Dump & Garbage Disposal History; Town of Lisbon

by Michael R. Reilly

October 22, 2005 Updated 12/18/2005

Do you have Town garbage stories to share? I just learned that Sussex had a dump near Locust and Main Sts. (east side) and later an apartment complex was built on the site. Some residents had a sinking feeling come over them.

    As society evolved so did the garbage it created. Early local residents didn't have to contend (much less even thought of) with the huge amount of disposable containers, packaging, and appliances as we do today. Food was hardly ever wasted or thrown out, and its storage was in reusable pottery, glass, or similar containers. If food wasn't purchased from bulk receptacles, it was sold in simple biodegradable packaging, ex. meat, sold by the butcher was wrapped in paper. Rarely would appliances be thrown away, they were repaired. On the farm, anything that could possibly have a useful purpose was kept, seldom did one not have a junk pile to scrounge from for replacement parts.

    Eventually municipalities and residents became aware of the health and ecological hazards of just leaving their garbage any old place. One of the earliest ways of controlling waste was for someone to provide one location within a community to dispose of unwanted materials, and that became the dump.

    When I first moved to the Town of Lisbon in 1988, I often wondered how I was going to dispose of certain items that weren't appropriate for the trash can? Was there a dump? Not until later did I learn that the waste company would pick up larger items, if left by the roadside, and the company was called to pick it up for disposal. But let's get back to the Town Dump. I first became aware that the Town of Lisbon ever had a dump was while researching the local library history, and came across the following: 

    Lisbon residents manage to keep library services, $20,000 worth, by closing down the town dump, and borrowing for needed items such as road equipment.  Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, May 31, 1977, page 9. 

    My library research provided additional insight into the dump and garbage disposal situation (and history) within the town.

    Henry Nagy, owner of the quarry on Plainview Rd. , west of Hwy J (164) decided not to renew the town's lease for a dump operation because the Wisconsin D.N.R. said it was too full. The Town is paying $35,000 per year for its operation. Nagy started leasing the site on June 1, 1964. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, June 28, 1977, page 1.

    The site is now leased on a month by month basis until an alternate site is found. Town Supervisor Alan Schroeder is looking into alternatives; curb-side pickup, a dumpster system or nothing. Pickup is recommended at an annual cost of $40-50 per residence. plus an investment by the Town of $70,000-80,000. The Town is not required to supply waste disposal services. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, June 28, 1977, page 7.

    Reserve Circuit court Judge Max Raskin ruled Monday, August 1, that the Lisbon Town board must call a special meeting to allow residents to consider the garbage disposal issue. There are 1,400 Town residences. Page 15.

    Special meeting to vote on type of garbage service or non-service the town will have. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, September 6, 1977, page 3 and 4. 

    Garbage vote process is described, and people are upset over garbage suit costs. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, September 13, 1977, page 1. 

    Awaiting out-come of Lisbon Town meeting vote. Pictures. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, September 20, 1977, page 1 and 8.

    Garbage pickup favored by vote. After September 30, the dump will be used on a day to day basis when Town's lease expires.

    "Town to move on trash". Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, October 4, 1977, page 1. Summit and Hales Corners used as a guide for Lisbon garbage. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, October 4, 1977, page 6. 

    "Lisbon town dump still open". Costing town $800-1,000 per week in equipment and wages to operate. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, October 18, 1977, page 1. 

    Town still leasing dump; $800 allocated in 1978 budget for continued service use. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, December 13, 1977, page 2. 

    "A-1 low Lisbon garbage bidder". A-1 Disposal Service of Menomonee Falls was awarded the garbage contract Monday night, December 19. Bid of $43.20 per unit per year; next lowest bid was Sanitary Disposal of Delafield at $58. 3-year contract with 2nd year at $45, and 3rd year $46.80. A-1services 18 other municipalities. Garbage fee of $48 will be put on the tax bills as a special assessment. Provides up-the-drive pickup except for large items. A-1 uses United Waste land fill site in Germantown. A letter informing residents of which day their garbage will be picked up will be mailed out before January 1, 1978. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, December 20, 1977, page 1. 

    "Lisbon's garbage pick-up begins" - the formal proposal was approved by the Lisbon Board at its Wednesday, December 28, 1977 meeting. No limit on number of garbage containers, but no more than 32 gal. in size and weight greater than 75 lbs. No pasteboard or 55 gal. drums allowed. Businesses must contact the Lisbon Town Hall and are required to pay in advance. Article shows a town map divided into quadrants indicating day of pick-up. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, January 3, 1978, page 1. 


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