Opinion Matters

With Gazette Opinion Editor Greg Peck

Set your trash out a day late this week in city of Janesville

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Greg Peck
Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I stood in my driveway this morning and counted seven big blue trash bins parked at the ends of neighboring driveways. Mine is still in my garage.

Many of these neighbors will arrive home from work today, grab their bins and be frustrated that they remain full. “How come the trash wasn't picked up?” Some might call City Hall to complain.

Similar scenes will play out all across the city this week.

The thing is, with Memorial Day on Monday, the city is pushing your normal trash day back one day all week long. Because trash in my neighborhood is normally collected Wednesday morning, I'll put my bin out Thursday morning. That's right—if your normal trash day is Friday, roll your bin out Saturday. No kidding.

I wrote about this last September, when Labor Day delayed regular trash pickup days, but it's obvious many people still haven't adjusted. Maybe they fear missing the collection even if it means they might be putting out their bins a day early—or maybe they're following their neighbors like lemmings.

Since April 2013, when Janesville switched to a new automated collection system, pickup throughout the city is delayed one day from normal after a holiday that falls during a weekday. The city's website offers more details.

This change raised concerns because the city now pays workers overtime to collect trash on Saturdays. John Whitcomb, city operations director, said last year the overtime amounted to about $760 for any such week.

Previously, Janesville tried to catch up with collections during the work week without resorting to a Saturday pickup.

“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.

Too many people still don't understand, but that is what's happening this week, folks. Make a mental note of it—or mark it on your calendar for Labor Day week. I'd hate to see a storm topple bins and strew rotting trash all over our neighborhoods because people set them out too early.

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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