Local News

Raleigh 'Trashes' Curbside Garbage Collection Program

Posted March 2, 2004

— In a 5-3 vote Tuesday, the Raleigh City Council trashed the idea for curbside pick-up once a week. Council members decided to continue with its twice-a-week backyard service.

Many council members said they were overwhelmed with calls from people against curbside pick-up. At one point Tuesday, they toyed with the idea of giving citizens an option of backyard or street service.

"If we could get to where it's less intrusive in their lives, we will hear less screaming," council member Philip Isley said.

Studies show going to curbside service would eventually save the city $5.6 million a year. Recycling had also increased in the pilot program by 30 percent.

In tight budget times, Gerald Latta, director of solid waste, said it's hard to believe that convenience won out.

"I guess I'm puzzled by it. The money you would save by increasing recycling. It's just one of those things," he said. "Sometimes you understand them. Sometimes you don't."

Ninety percent of those polled in the pilot trash program said they liked once a week curbside pick-up, but that was not enough to convince the full City Council to make the change permanently.

Council member Michael Regan said the city could still save money on trash pick-up by privatizing the service, but he did not receive a lot of support for that idea.

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