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OSAGE | Mark and Donna Holt, co-owners of Holt & Sons Sanitation, spoke to the Osage City Council on April 1 about their successes and their difficulties since being awarded the city's sanitation contract. 

Holt & Sons, which is based out of Mason City, has been picking up residential trash and recycling in Osage since October 2017. 

"We've had speed bumps and some victories along the way," said Mark Holt. 

One victory is "my guys really like this town," and many residents have expressed appreciation for them, he said.

However, some residents put their garbage out after the truck has gone by and complain that they were missed, Holt said. 

When this happens, a truck is sent back to pick up the trash because "I want this town to be clean and we are about customer service," he said. 

Councilwoman Judy Voaklander told Holt this might not be a good idea. 

"They (residents) are never going to learn if you keep going back." 

Holt said other residents complain that their garbage hasn't been picked up yet when the sanitation workers simply haven't gotten to their part of town yet. 

He also said some residents are still confused as to which week the sanitation workers pick up recycling. 

Holt & Sons is doing a lot of work with social media, which has improved things, he said. 

Holt said one of his goals is to start picking up recycling every week in Osage. 

He also said he would like Holt & Sons to start doing some education programs in the schools. 

Voaklander asked if residents are still placing their trash in Red Can Sanitation bins in an attempt to "get around the system."

This was a problem in the spring of 2018, when members of the city council stated they had seen at least 25 Red Can Sanitation containers at residences around town. 

Red Can had submitted a bid for the residential sanitation contract in 2017, but the council chose Holt & Sons instead. 

Businesses in Osage are allowed to use any sanitation company of their choice, but Holt & Sons holds the sole contract for residences. 

Holt told Voaklander said he would check and see if there are still any Red Can containers at residences. 

The Holt & Sons sanitation workers go the extra mile for the people in Osage, according to Holt. 

He said one day this winter, a worker saw an elderly couple on his route struggling to shovel snow. 

The worker jumped off the truck and got some other crew members to help him do the chore for the couple. 

During a brutal cold snap this winter, Holt & Sons wasn't able to send out trucks. 

Donna Holt said several elderly women in Osage called and said they were glad because "our boys are very important to them."

"They would have been very angry with us if we had sent them out in that cold weather," she said with a laugh. 

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