Will it stink? Seattle considers biweekly trash pick up

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SEATTLE — To some it’s a sign of the times. To others, it’s a stinky proposition.

Seattle is one step closer to switching trash pick-up from weekly to every other week.

On Tuesday, the Libraries, Utilities, and Seattle Center Committee agreed to keep the biweekly proposal alive and move it along to the full council.

Proponents of the deal say it’s a move that would cut down on truck traffic and save money. But there is certainly mixed reaction to putting trash cans out just once every 14 days.

“It could save us about 5 to 6 million dollars a year, which is not insignificant,” said Tim Croll, Seattle Public Utilities’ director.

photoSPU ran a pilot program last year in several Seattle neighborhoods, and 63 percent of those who participated in the pilot program said they were satisfied with biweekly trash pick-up. But there were concerns the pick up could cause a stench, especially in the summer months.

“There could be some odors coming up that you don’t want to live next to for two weeks at a time,” Daylan Rhea, a Seattle resident, said. “Compost, food and diapers, any other weird things you might throw out.”

Some are also worried about rats and other rodents. But SPU figures biweekly pick-up would lead to an increase in recycling and actually reduce garbage in the city by 25 percent. Several cities, including Renton and Olympia, have already made the switch.

Seattle resident Charlie Meconis said if it means less truck traffic, he could get used to it too.

“We’ve really worked hard to lower our garbage level, so i think we would survive with it and probably as time goes by we would wonder, was it ever weekly?”


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