Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Alleyway Garbage Pickups Still On

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Alleyway Garbage Pickups Still On

Article excerpt

For at least another nine months, Joyce Husnick won't have to

worry about pesky raccoons strewing garbage throughout her front

yard.

And she and her neighbors won't have to look at unsightly trash

cans lining their streets.

That's because the city has agreed to continue garbage pickup

in 14 back alleys in Riverside and Avondale through the fiscal

year ending in September.

"That's wonderful news," said Bonnie Grissett, executive

director of Riverside Avondale Preservation.

Because the smaller garbage trucks used are more expensive to

operate, RAP officials had feared the alley pickups would be

discontinued Oct. 1, the end of a one-year pilot period. But

officials of the city's Solid Waste Division said funds are

available for at least another year.

The city had stopped the alley pickups in May 1994 because the

use of increasingly larger garbage trucks and the rampant

overgrowth of trees and bushes had made it hazardous for

collection crews to venture down the alleys. From May 1994 to

September 1995, garbage was collected on the streets.

Residents then launched a massive alley cleanup with

cooperation from the Solid Waste Division. They also enlisted

the support of City Councilman Jim Overton, who responded with

$150,000 in city funding. Alley collections resumed in September

1995 with the proviso that residents maintain the alleys.

The city used part of the money to buy two smaller trucks --

dubbed pack rats -- that were able to safely navigate the 10- and

15-foot-wide alleys. However, the pack rats are more expensive

to operate because they have a capacity of only 8 cubic yards

compared to 25 to 32 cubic yards for standard-sized trucks.

That means garbage has to be collected from several alleys and

then dumped into larger trucks for transport to the Trail Ridge

Landfill on the far Westside. It isn't cost-effective for small

trucks to make the long trip, said Fred Forbes, supervising

manager of collection and recycling.

It costs $54,700 a year to operate the two rat packs for two

days a week, Forbes said. …

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