SEATTLE – Seattle garbage customers may be asked to hold onto their trash an extra week to help the city save money.
Seattle Public Utilities presented a bi-weekly trash collection proposal to a City Council committee Tuesday. Solid Waste Director Timothy Croll say the program would save about $6 million a year and may increase recycling and composting.
The city would first run a $250,000 pilot program. About 800 residents in several neighborhoods would test the system for six months. Croll says they will learn from the test whether it works and how does it increase recycling and composting.
The idea is supported by Councilmember Mike O'Brien. He says a pilot program will test the waters to see if residents will embrace the idea.
"It's going to be a shock to the system for more folks. That is something we don't want to do citywide without a testing it first," said O'Brien.
West Seattle resident Don Butler likes the frequency of his trash pickup.
"Garbage, I think, should be weekly. Always has been. Always should be, says Butler. He worries about the change. "I think it will overflow."
"It wouldn't matter because we recycle a lot." said West Seattle resident David Debois. He does worry about the possible loss of trash collection jobs in this economy and that larger families might be affected by the twice weekly collections. "It's perfectly fine for us because we are a family of three. But what about families of four, six. There is no way they will be able to do it.'
Currently, Seattle residents recycle about 51 percent of their trash. The city wants to increase it to 60 percent by 2012.
Croll says Whatcom County and the cities of Renton and Olympia are already using the twice-a-month trash pickup program. If the pilot program works in Seattle, the bi-weekly trash collections would begin in April of 2013.