Trash talk: City to host public forum on garbage collection

The City of San Angelo is hosting a town hall forum to gather citizen input on garbage collection services at 6 p.m. Thursday in City Council chambers at the McNease Convention Center, 501 Rio Concho Drive.

The forum will be broadcast live on SATV, Suddenlink channel 117 and at cosatx.us/watch.

The City will also gather input via an online survey and further forums. Details will be announced at the forum.

On June 7, City Council considered a move to monthly bulk pickup and collection of recyclables every other week. While the Council voiced support for the move, it wanted to solicit public opinion on other possible changes to trash service that might be incorporated at the same time.

Some citizens have told their Council representative they prefer, for instance, alley pickup. Some alleys in older neighborhoods are not wide enough or have the necessary overhead clearance to accommodate the automated trucks used by Republic Services, the City’s contracted trash collector. Alley pickup in those areas would require a reversion to workers manually emptying trash containers into trucks.

City Operations Director Shane Kelton said such customized service can be accommodated, but it would come with a price to customers.

“Some areas of town do not have alleyways,” Kelton said in a news release from the City. “Whether citizens in those neighborhoods would be supportive of a change in rates to accommodate alley pickup in other areas of town remains to be seen.”

With the exception of Abilene, San Angelo’s rates are the lowest in West Texas, the release said. San Angelo is the only West Texas city that offers curbside recycling, free bulk pickup and a free monthly dumping at the landfill.