The problem of garbage piling up along Lexington streets has city officials considering new enforcement and collection methods. Waste often accumulates outside rental units and other residences, especially after an eviction. Often old furniture is left on a curb, and it in turn attracts additional garbage. Plus, garbage pickers are a problem. By sorting through piles of waste, city official say they create a safety hazard. Councilmember Peggy Henson believes current enforcement efforts don’t work.
“People are just not calling the items in, so it doesn’t matter if we have LexCall sitting there or not, nobody is gonna call it in because they don’t know the rules,” said Henson.
Council Member Chris Ford complains six-days between pick-ups for bulky items is too long. Ford adds sometimes garbage collection is spotty… a mattress might be collected, but other large items remain.
Waste Management Director Feece says Lexington could increase collections. However, Feece says adding more pick-ups requires more staff…potentially costing Lexington over three-million dollars.
“What’s at stake here I believe is whether or not we provide more frequent service of bulky materials. That’s the question. That’s up to the Council to decide,” added Feece.
Another option also has Lexington imposing heavier fines when large amounts of garbage are dumped on the curb without notifying the city.
Meanwhile, Council member Diane Lawless applauded waste management workers for their efforts at helping with move in and move out times at the University of Kentucky.
“They go above and beyond. You know, I’ve seen them take something out of a Herbie and put it in a Rosie, because it’s recyclable. It’s a thankless job, it’s a dangerous job, and it’s a dirty job,” said Lawless.
No firm decisions were made during the committee meeting. It will be forwarded on to the full Council for further review.