The pickup of trash and talk of it in Fort Smith has been a bitter disappointment to me. Many Fort Smith citizens I held in high esteem have shown themselves to have little or no compassion for the citizens who live on alleys that still have alley pickup. Sanitation management that I feel has by and large done an excellent job has not shown compassion for the citizens living on alleys or their own employees by not upgrading alley pick up by issuing closed wheeled carts for trash and recycle for use in the alleys. If it is not the so-called automatic pick up it is plain manual with a variety of owner supplied small cans and trash sacks.
Automatic trash collection uses 3 trucks 3 employs on a route usually on the same day. Other than jumping out of the truck to align the trash cart the operator does not get out of the truck. The so called automated system we have uses the automated one arm bandit on some routes for trash but sometimes rear load trucks with flippers to dump the trash carts. The same semi-automated system is used for nearly all the recycle pick up and manual pick up is used for all yard waste pick up except what is done by the dial a truck. The carts are issued by the city and I was told by sanitation about $150 for each household when I had to have a police report to get 2 new ones after a set disappeared. Who paid for these carts and how long will it take to amortize the cost? Did all the sanitation users pay for them or just the ones on the automated routes? Have they been amortized already?
The only excuse I have heard for not using the carts in the alley is that the sanitation employees have to look in each one and if it has one paper in it the cart has to be emptied. An easy solution to that would be a % fill to be emptied. I know on the so-called automated route I only put the cart out if it is ½ full or more. If not we let it set another week.
I am very disappointed that the so-called automated routes are not being converted to fully automated routes. Full conversion would save a lot of money. I am equally disappointed that alley pick up has not been upgraded with current technology and manual pick up is allowed to be used. The upgrade would make trash day safer for the citizens and employees along with cutting cost. Route patterns could be changed to take advantage of automation on streets without alleys in subdivisions with alleys.
Improvement and upgrading alley service would require the property owners and occupants maintain their alley according to the city code. Overhead wires should not be a problem as the code already calls for them being higher than the tallest sanitation trucks.
A drive across town on a non-trash day and see how many citizens have turned their front yard and drive in to a trash storage are. Why can’t these people get them out of sight, take them to the back yard or put them in the garage. Our town is turning into a see of blue, see it everywhere.
Now there is a call to have an outside firm bid to offer trash service in alley subdivisions. How can it be thought that better service can be offered for less than the Fort Smith sanitation department? If our department is being run as efficiently as we are being lead to believe it should not be possible. Maybe someone should take a close look at the sanitation departments accounting cost and expense calculations.
What Fort Smith needs is a sensible approach to sanitation pick up. Both curb and alley could be improved. Consideration should be given to residents as well as sanitation employees. Citizens should take pride in their property and hide the trash cart from street view. on non trash days.