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Should Seattle pick up neighborhood garbage only every other week?

December 7th, 2013 · 44 Comments

The Seattle City Council this week discussed a plan to pick up our garbage only every other week – similar to the way recycling is picked up.

That means possibly smelly trash cans sitting outside your house for a fortnight, instead of disappearing every (at Maple Leaf Life South) Thursday. Seattle Public Utilities ran a pilot program last year in several neighborhoods, including Wedgwood.

There’s a good piece at Crosscut.com from earlier this week:

Over 60 percent of the pilot’s participants were satisfied with their service, but lower-income and minority customers and households with diapers were more inclined to say that the less frequent pick ups stink. Increases in bad odors and rodent sightings were among the reasons customers said they were dissatisfied.

The service cuts would save SPU about $5 to $6 million annually and, according to SPU officials, reduce garbage truck traffic and incentivize recycling and composting. Garbage collection bills should go down for most customers if the council approves the new collection regimen, but households that need to upsize their trashcans to hold two weeks of waste would pay more.

Reaction has been mixed. The Crosscut piece picked up perhaps a dozen-and-a-half comments.

But when the West Seattle Blog ran a piece at the end of November, they got 72 comments, some with praise but others along this line: “RATS our city will be filthy and infested with RATS if this goes through!”

A full City Council vote will likely take place in February, with any change in service set for 2015.

What do you think? Should the city change to every other week garbage pickup, and possibly save us money?

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