By Cassie McClure
Published in the Las Cruces Sun News 08/23/20.
There may be several trash cans in the house. Some waste baskets are in different rooms; some are only filled with cardboard and milk jugs for recycling. But, all the trash funnels into the same location outside, in either the blue or brown containers. Now, both Las Cruces Utilities (LCU), which manages solid waste collection and disposal, and South Central Solid Waste Authority (SCSWA), which manages recycling pickup and transfer station/landfill services, will make it easier to funnel all your questions into one Customer Central line at (575) 541-2111.
During the July 9, 2020, meeting, LCU Board of Commissioners approved a Memorandum of Understating (MOU) between LCU and SCSWA with Resolution No. 20-21-LCU002 for SCSWA to provide funding for a customer service position at LCU to address the needs of residents related to solid waste collection, disposal, and recycling. LCU, in turn, will fund a second position for a “One Stop, One Call” for utility related questions. Previously, questions on things like recycling were sent back to SCSWA and any trash pickup questions – such as why a container may not have been picked up or what to do if a container was broken – would have been sent back to LCU.
"We want to focus on getting the right information to our customers without needing them to debate who they should call first. It’ll be one number and they can figure out if a transfer station is open, help with their route days, and what they can recycle in their blue container or if it’s meant for trash in their brown container," said Patrick Peck, SCSWA director.
At the meeting, LCU Board Commissioner Dr. Harry Johnson asked about the training, how exactly the customer service representatives will become an all-inclusive source of information. Assistant Utilities Director Delilah Walsh explained that cross training will happen not only with LCU and SCSWA, but also with Friedman Recycling, which is the company that handles the sorting and selling of recycling. Both positions will be Customer Service Representatives housed at Customer Central at City Hall.
“These positions will be dedicated to answering calls regarding Utilities questions, primarily focusing on solid waste collections, recycling, and waste disposal in general,” explained Robin Lawrence, LCU Solid Waste deputy director. “The idea for this One Stop Shop came from customer feedback regarding the difficulties with multiple points of contact to get information related to recycling and solid waste collections. The purpose of this plan is to enable a single point of contact and improve customer service.”
LCU will be looking to hire and train these two positions by the end of the calendar year and will look forward to having them onboard with the ability to answer customer’s questions. Lawrence said, “If you are interested in customer interaction and providing streamlined services while learning about LCU, we’d welcome applicants to join our diverse, multi-cultural team.”
LCU can be reached at 575-528-3500 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. LCU provides services to approximately 100,000 Las Cruces residents and businesses.
PHOTO 1: LCU and SCSWA will be adding two new Customer Service Representatives, like Laura Loose part of the Customer Central program at City Hall, to answer questions about trash, recycling, and more, to make getting information quicker and more efficient.