All those giant trash bins with the city’s new trash collection program are cause for concern from a number of residents.
This week city council members approved an ordinance requiring residents to get the bins out of the street within a reasonable amount of time after they’re emptied.
Concho Valley residents voted the new curbside pickup by Republic into effect last August. Now one year later we’re just about one month into having the service and council members say there are still many issues needing to be resolved.
Council woman, Liz Grindstaff says, “regardless of the fact that many cities have had automated pickup for 20 and 30 years, we have resisted it here because it’s a big change in our behavior.”
Several council members spoke out about problems residents came to them with. One of the most prevalent seems to be putting trash cans away after pickup.
Grindstaff says, “I know in Santa Rita it’s been after 6 PM that we’ve had actually the trash and the recycling picked up. And on a Friday when our day is Friday, that’s a day that people are leaving town and they believe that 6 PM is too late, and I agree with them because if we’re putting it out the night before, that’s almost 24 hours before we can expect pickup.”
The city says with a new trash system comes a period of transition and right now, they’re only looking to educate the public, but if problems persist, residents could soon see fines.
Shane Kelton says, “it’s a necessary evil, unfortunately, because we will have people that will just not comply and won’t work with us and so the ordinance is actually the portion that gives us teeth and allows us to actually issue a citation and they’re going to have to go down and visit with the judge about it.”
Those fines revolve around residents leaving out their garbage cans for too long. But Kelton adds some of the blame is on Republic Services.
“If for some reason republic doesn’t pick up your trash or recycling, one of those containers and that container is left out to the street so they can come back by and pick it up, whether it’s the following day, or whenever, there will be no repercussions for that.”
Grindstaff says, “I would imagine we’ll be talking trash here for probably another year.”