Tacoma switching to every-other-week garbage pickup

Tacoma switching to every-other-week garbage pickup
TACOMA, Wash. - Monday marks the first phase of the city's plan to make big changes for garbage customers. Throughout the month of March, 5,700 residents in the north end will be the first to see a new waste and recycling pick-up schedule.

"On Monday we start our transition to every-other-week garbage collection," says Mike Slevin of Tacoma's Environmental Services.

The transition starts with new bins for garbage and recycling that will be collected one week. Bins for yard and food waste will be collected the following week.

It's all part of the city's effort to cut landfill waste by 70 percent and save about $1.2 million each year in the process.

"It saves gas, wear and tear depreciation labor costs, sure. Basically a win-win deal," says North Tacoma resident Vince Brown.

Waste Management says customers will be able to throw away the same amount of garbage as before bescause of newer, bigger cans that range from 45 to 90 gallons. Those who already have a 60- or 90-gallon container will get an extra one.

"We're switching our can size, doubling our can size and halving our pick-up, so service by volume will stay the same," says Slevin.

It's why the city says rates won't change - but some residents say the stockpiled trash will make a big smell.

"Sort of an environmental and esthetic concern," says Doug Bridges of North Tacoma.

But Slevin says the Puget Sound climate should prevent that from happening.

"It's not like Arizona where we have 110, 115-degree temperatures when those odors become prevalent in the summertime," he says.

But in the off-chance the smell gets to you, Slevin says you can always put your food waste in both garbage or yard waste each week.

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For more information visit the city of Tacoma's website.