5 On Your Side

Fuquay-Varina woman wants town to allow pink trash cans

Posted July 31, 2012

— You put your trash on the curb and expect your town collectors to pick it up, but a Wake County woman had her home skipped because of the type and color of trash can she uses.

The trash can is pink and wasn't issued by the town of Fuquay-Varina, so the man in charge of trash there says his workers can not collect it.

"It's clearly marked that this trash can fights cancer," said homeowner L'Tonya Meeks.

The fight against breast cancer is an issue close to her heart. 

"I have a sorority sister that passed of breast cancer in September of last year," Meeks said.

So, she bought a pink trash can from the Raleigh-based nonprofit 1in9. The group raises money to help those fighting breast cancer.

"I was so proud, on Sunday night, I put my trash can out," she said. "(But) on Monday morning, they did not collect."

She called the town of Fuquay-Varina to ask what happened and they said it was because of the color.

pink trash cans Woman wants Fuquay-Varina to allow pink trash cans

"I said, 'Are you kidding me? Is that the only reason why you didn't collect my trash yesterday?' And he said, 'Yes, because it's pink."

Arthur Mouberry heads the town's Public Works Department.

"The ordinance says we cannot pick them up," Mouberry said. "What she's using, (from) my understanding, may be compatible, but it's not compatible with our ordinance."

That one-line ordinance is simple: "Only containers supplied by the town will be collected by the town."

Mouberry says they don't want workers getting hurt with unapproved bins.

Even though the pink cans are standard size and construction, and the trucks can physically collect them, Mouberry says the town can't budge unless the board decides to offer the 1in9 cans.

"It's not the cause. It's just that she needs to come make a request," Mouberry said. "We need to get a container that's approved by the board."

Meeks now plans to take the issue to the town board.

"Because one in every nine women will be affected by breast cancer, I'd love to see everyone in the neighborhood with one," she said.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • americaneel Aug 6, 2012

    bitsyfae1...While you are at it, why don't you encourage the homeowners in your neighborhood to paint their houses pink as well. Let us know how that works out.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Aug 3, 2012

    So much distraction over petty things.

    Don't we have more important things to think about?

  • bitsyfae1 Aug 3, 2012

    I've had to deal with Mr. Mouberry on several occasions regarding the recycling guys coming around banging the cans and glass at FIVE THIRTY in the morning. I doubt they collect that early at HIS house. I don't think the color of the trash can should matter whatsoever. I think we should all trade our ugly green trash cans for any color we want. Sure would look a lot better next to my house! Good luck and sorry about your sorority sister. And yes, expect a crowd at the next town meeting to get this ordinance changed!

  • tarheelgrad1998 Aug 3, 2012

    OK, now a pink trash can "fights cancer"? Man, these Komen people really have jumped the shark. Enough with the pink everything.

  • shakenbake68 Aug 3, 2012

    First of all, if you allow pink trash cans, you need to allow red trash cans for AIDS, camo trash cans for vets, rainbow trash cans for gay rights. All of which i am OK with.

    BUT, if you really care about breast cancer, there are much better things you can do besides the over-used pink novelty stuff. Go door to door in low income neighborhoods, and talk to mothers and young women, and educate them on breast cancer awareness and prevention. Why stop at breast cancer? Why not educate these women on cervical cancer as well? I really doubt that having pink items everywhere does anything. Get off your lazy back-side and take action!!

  • Glass Half Full Aug 3, 2012

    My mother survived inflammatory breast cancer. She's very hard to buy a gift for. I wanted to get her a pink trash can for her birthday a couple of years ago. I contacted the city before I purchased it to find out if they'd collect her trash with it. There was no problem, she has a pretty pink trash can and I'm forever grateful to God and the doctors and for her strength in getting through that battle. That pink trash can means something to my family. If you don't want a pink trash can, don't buy one. My mom having one won't bother you. If you want another color, have at it.

  • RNmomX4 Aug 3, 2012

    "If I had trash collection, I'd try to find the color that represents the fight against government stupidity and set out a can in that color."

    That made me spit out my coffee! HAHAHAHAHA!!!

  • xxxxxxxxxxxxx Aug 3, 2012

    "Mouberry says they don't want workers getting hurt with unapproved bins."

    What a lame excuse. In my neighborhood the arms pick up our trash cans and then hurl them back into the street, twisting the lids and breaking off the wheels. The workers don't even get out of the truck.

    I do agree, however, that if this is allowed, there's no telling what people might want to use as a trash can.

  • mgratk Aug 2, 2012

    Silly to buy something to support a cause. Just donate cash.

  • outhousecat Aug 2, 2012

    All trash cans are ugly. And so are the flies buzzing around them. Who cares what color they are? Pick up the woman's trash.

    If I had trash collection, I'd try to find the color that represents the fight against government stupidity and set out a can in that color.