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Mixed Reviews Of The Bi-Weekly Trash Pilot Project

Lesley McClurg

The city is trying to find out if picking up Seattle's trash every other week is often enough. For the next six months, four neighborhoods will only have garbage service every other week instead of weekly. We checked in to see how the first pickup went in one of the neighborhoods.


Reviews from residents in a Leschi neighborhood were mixed. Here are Sandy, John, and Dan:

"It — and it really smelled today, really, really badly. We thought we should need to get a bigger can but we elected not to just to force ourselves to see if we could live within the constraint and it has worked out fine so far. And we have a dog, and so that creates a little bit of an issue with her deposits. It was kind of funky in the trash container which is right out there if you want to try it out."

Dan McGraw's trash was funky. Dan also doesn't understand why his rates aren't being reduced since his garbage is only getting picked up half as often.

McGraw: "Basically they are cutting the service back so that logic would tell you that it's going to cost less. But what they basically say is that it's going to cost the same and it's just our way of helping out the city."

To help him out, the city gave him $100 for being part of the pilot project. Seattle Public Utilities says cutting back on trash pickup could save the city up to $6 million a year. It could also help the environment if residents throw away less and recycle and compost more like Dan did. To help that along, the city will still pick up food and yard waste every week.

The driver on the pilot project route said there was definitely more trash than usual, but not a whole lot more. He guessed that the bins were about 25 percent more full. In other words, it might already be working.

The city will compile all of the data into a report published at the end of the year. Public utilities could decide to put the whole city on a bi–weekly trash schedule next year.

For KUOW News, I'm Lesley McClurg.

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