One Day My (Garbage Man) Will Come

Garbage ain’t sexy, but it does tend to get people heated up. At least it did last night at the Ridgewood Recreation Center near White Rock Lake, where about 60 people turned out to hear about the city’s new OneDay Dallas program. That’s a slick way of saying that, starting March 1, all Dallas trash will be picked up just once a week, and you’re going to have to start using a blue recycling bin–and using it right–in addition to your grey bin. Currently grey bins in most parts of the city are picked up twice a week; the blues, twice a month.

Recycling remains voluntary under OneDay. But if you don’t use the blue bin properly and your gray bin won’t hold everything, you’ll have the “option” of ponying up $10.54 a month extra for another gray one. The city says that, following a couple of pilot programs in Northwest Dallas and Far North Dallas, it’s earned $2 million off recycled trash already, dough to be pumped back into the general fund.

Led by Mayor “Tom Terrific” Leppert, the city wants Dallas to join other “progressive” burgs like Philadelphia that recycle more than 50 percent of their trash–the current recycling figure here is about 6 percent–and it’s going to whack a big 64 cents off your $20.98 monthly bill for the added trouble and inconvenience.

Even so, some of the folks at Ridgewood Rec weren’t buying it.

Because several thousand homeowners in the area will have to start pulling trash bins to the front curb instead of using their back alleys, residents said property values would “deteriorate,” since trash-strewn sidewalks will surely result. Others complained about the recklessness of the city’s trash-truck drivers in general; still others kvetched about the cost of the new scheme.

“We’re paying for this, but we’re not getting comparable service,” snapped one. Yelled another: “How much is it gonna cost us?” Replied District 9 City Council member Sheffie Kadane: “We’re making $2 million on this project. What difference does it make what we spend?”

In the end, though, most in attendance seemed OK with the new plan.

In a little while a barrage of letters, “cart hangers” and phone calls will go out announcing your new “OneDay”–the day your trash will be picked up each week. So you better be ready–and have your recycling skills in order.

No pie plates, no styrofoam peanuts, no pizza-delivery boxes? Damn; this might be harder than I thought.

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