RALEIGH, N.C. — Eighty-four percent of Raleigh households are now part of the city's new trash program. Every neighborhood should be on board by Christmas, but the new collection plan and the big green trash bins have some people seeing red.
Margaret Browning said taking a walk in her neighborhood on trash day is much different than any other day.
"The day you do have trash picked up, the whole street looks like a trash can because you have all the different recycling boxes, yard containers and big trashcans you roll to the street," she said.
Still, Browning understands why the city implemented the new trash program. Raleigh will save more than $3 million the first year by changing trash pickup from twice-a-week backyard service to once-a-week pickup at the curb.
More savings will come when the system is fully automated. However, there are some bumps in the road. About a quarter of the city's townhomes have had problems. One issue for them is that there are not any obvious places to put their trash cans.
"We've worked individually to figure out what will work best in their particular community," recycling coordinator Linda Leighton said.
The city has also worked with people like Lucy Lamm, who is one of nearly 2,800 people who asked for special assistance.
"It's working fine. I have no complaints," she said.
In the last three weeks, the city has taken more than 1,400 calls. Some people are confused about the day for the pick-up while others are upset because the color of the can clashes with their house.
Even though some people resisted the change, many are adjusting.
"I liked it better before. It's a decent program. I don't have real complaints about it," resident Tracy Davis said.
One of the most common complaints about the trash program is the 96-gallon trash bin. Some people think the container is too big. After the first of the year, the city will order 64-gallon trash cans. People can switch to the smaller option, but there will be a catch -- you will only be allowed to change your can once.