First steps taken to replace Amarillo dumpsters with curbside service

On Tuesday night, the Amarillo City Council approved the first reading of a new ordinance that would replace dumpsters with curbside waste collection in some parts of the city. The 5-0 vote sets the stage for final approval of the proposal at the next City Council meeting.

“We’re looking at changes to give us the ability to automate curbside service, but keep in mind this is not a citywide initiative. This will impact those who have dumpsters in their front yards or in alleys.

"This is not a program that everyone's dumpster is going away. This is a system that we're looking at for individuals who currently right now, the dumpster doesn't work for them.

"These are individuals who have dumpsters in their front yards which is a huge quality of life issue. These are also individuals who have bag collection right now who are having issues with having dogs and other kinds of animals tearing up their trash. So we want to protect those individuals who are having to pick up trash throughout the community

"Another change this ordinance addresses is giving residents instructions on how to dispose of their bulky and brush items. This pushes forward with our curbside program, allowing individuals to call the solid waste department and schedule their pickup before they actually put their item on the curb,"
Raymond Lee, Director of Public Works for the City of Amarillo, said.

The new ordinance will also address illegal dumping, composting in the city, and safety issues.

"We will also have changes to illegal dumping, dumpster maintenance and a new structure for our compost facility.

"It'll also address some of the safety issues that we have with dead end alleys and with individual drivers that we have going through those alleys. They're having to back all the way out those alleys which cause safety issues for our drivers and for our citizens," Lee said.

The city hopes to have the dumpsters replaced with curbside carts later this year.

“We’re looking at late fall, early winter by the time everything comes together.

"We would like to get citizens educated on the system, because we don’t want to roll out a program they don’t understand. We want to make sure the education and marketing piece is solidified to the point they understand the do’s and don’ts with their cart," Lee said.

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