Opinion Matters

With Gazette Opinion Editor Greg Peck

Janesville delays trash pickup again this week

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Greg Peck
Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Maybe we're like trained seals. Or, using another animal cliché, perhaps it's a case of monkey see, monkey do. At any rate, many or most homeowners in my east-side neighborhood have their trash cans at the curb this morning (Wednesday). They'll still be full tonight.

That's because, with the April switch to the city of Janesville's new automated trash collection system, pickup throughout the city is delayed one day from normal after a holiday that falls during a weekday.

The Gazette explained this change June 4, after the Memorial Day holiday caused confusion. The change in the holiday week schedule also brought concern because the city now pays workers overtime to collect trash on Saturdays after weekday holidays in neighborhoods where the normal collection day is Friday.

John Whitcomb, city operations director, said the overtime amounts to about $760 for any such week.

Janesville started using new, automated trucks that grip and dump garbage bins with mechanical arms on April 29. Workers probably could get caught up during the week after a Monday holiday but might not get caught up after a holiday later in the week, Whitcomb explained. Residents might end up with trash sitting at the curb for two days instead of one.

“Rather than have different schedules based upon the day of the week the holiday falls on, I believe it will be easier for our customers to understand that trash/recycling collection will be delayed one day following a holiday,” Whitcomb said in a memo to council members.

The city's website explains further:

“If the actual (not observed) holiday falls anywhere Monday through Friday:

-- ”There will be no collection on the holiday.

-- ”If your regular collection day falls on or after the holiday, collection will be delayed by one day during that week.

-- ”For those whose collection day is normally Friday, this will mean collection is delayed to Saturday.”

So if your regular trash collection day is today and you placed your bin at the curb this morning and it's still full tonight, don't be surprised. It will get emptied Thursday. If your normal collection day is Thursday, put it out for pickup Friday, etc. Please remember this the next time a holiday falls during a weekday. Just because your neighbors put their cans at the curb doesn't mean they're right. No, you won't miss the collection by putting it out a day early, but imagine what might happen should a windstorm wallop our area with all those cans sitting out more than 24 hours.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

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