By Josh Jordan
As part of a plan to combat illegal dumping, the city of Columbus plans to replace the 300-gallon trash containers with 90-gallon containers.
According to Tim Swauger, administrator for the Columbus Division of Refuse Collection, the city began using the 90-gallon containers in parts of the westside. The entire switchover will run into 2019.
The city sent letters to residents around Georgesville Road notifying them of the change in trash container size. After the letters were sent out, the 90-gallon containers were delivered in mid-September.
“The changeover is happening slower than we would like, but it’s happening,” said Lisa Boggs, a Hilltop advocate for 21 years and resident for 36. Boggs sits on multiple committees for the area and leads the South-Central Hilltop Block Watch.
“This is just the first step,” she said.
The 300-gallon containers were scheduled to be picked up by Sept. 22. The week of overlap allows the larger containers to be emptied prior to being taken away.
This process takes about three to four weeks and will be completed one section of the city at a time until this phase of the project is complete.
“I’ve seen the old 300 gallons picked up, but I think it will take a while for the desired changes to take effect,” said Boggs. “Once we get our neighborhood cleaned, safety follows. Then economic development follows that.”
To keep regular trash collection on schedule, only a portion of each area of the city can be completed at once.
“The city was divided into three areas,” said Swauger. “We have three refuse centers around the city and only so many trucks to complete the transition.”
The three areas do not include these sections of the city entirely, but were identified as the Hilltop, Linden and Parsons Avenue. They were determined based on complaints through 311.
The Georgesville Road section includes much of the south Hilltop area. The boundaries are Sullivant Avenue to Rosedale Avenue/South Hague to Demorest Road.
“I think it’s important for people to know that not every 300-gallon in these areas can be switched over to the new 90-gallon,” said Swauger. “Traffic and parking congestion keep trucks from being able to collect from the front of some buildings.”
With the next two sections of the changeover happening in the other two areas of the city, the Hilltop will not see another section transition until at least January.
“The refuse department doesn’t have the time or money to clean everything up for us,” said Boggs. “It’s up to the residents to pitch in a little bit. If you can’t pick it up yourself, call 311. There’s always something you can do to help with this problem.”
Swauger did not have an exact completion date for the switch over, but mentioned that calls to 311 about illegal dumping after the switchover will help determine where new camera systems are installed.