Local News

Raleigh Businesses To Pay More For Trash Pickup

Posted July 6, 2006

— When Raleigh changed home trash collection from backyard service to curbside collection, hundreds of homeowners complained. Now, garbage changes are in the works for many Raleigh businesses.

Downtown Raleigh businesses get six times the trash service that Raleigh residents do. Now, the city is out to make garbage collection more equitable for everyone.

For $8.30 a month, Raleigh residents get their trashed picked up one day a week. For the same price, more than 200 downtown Raleigh businesses get their trash picked up six days a week and every holiday except Christmas.

"It was a great deal," said Bianca Bradford, Education Specialist for the City of Raleigh Solid Waste Services.

That will all change August 1. Businesses downtown will now pay $30 for the service six days a week.

"The new rate is more equitable it will reflect a higher level of service businesses get," said Bradford.

Also, cardboard boxes, ripped bags of trash and other debris on the sidewalk will no longer be allowed. Restaurants will be required to buy a city-issued trashcan for the curb. No longer can they dump discarded food and other trash there. Without alleyways to hide garbage, the city says it's a measure to improve the look downtown.

"When you have got litter piling up on your sidewalks it doesn't necessarily contribute to a positive perception of downtown," said Kris Larson, Deputy Director, Downtown Raleigh Alliance.

Tir Na Nog General Manager Colin Couch doesn't buy into buying a 96-gallon cart.

"There's not a lot of space to store them," said Couch. "I think it's absurd."

Businesses aside from eateries can opt to buy heavy-duty plastic bags from the city for 20 cents apiece. They'll have the city emblem, similar to one displayed from Massachusetts. They are the only bags approved for use downtown.

Couch doesn't think they're the answer either.

"It's still putting bags out and still an eyesore, especially from our standpoint where it's cluttering the street and right in front of our restaurant," he said.

The restaurant manager thinks the city should place a dumpster on every city block for businesses to share instead.

If businesses don't comply with the new regulations, they'll get a warning. They could eventually be fined $500 for not following the rules. As part of the switch, for the first time, the city will also begin offering recycling pickup downtown.


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