Twice-a-week trash pickup, a staple in Palestine for the last decade, will stop this month under the city's revised contract with Waste Connections.
Residents will also be saving more than 20 percent per month, with trash bills dropping from $19.64 to $14.85.
Beginning Jan. 13, trash pickup will be reduced to once a week. The 20 bags once allowed will also be cut back to whatever can fit in a 96-gallon can called a “polycart,” with the lid closed – roughly 175 pounds of trash.
Waste Connections will begin distributing polycarts to residents Monday. Representatives will provide residents with information on their trash pickup schedule at that time.
Residents are not charged for the initial polycart, however additional polycarts are available for $10 a month.
Under the new contract, curbside recycling has also been cancelled. The last day for residents to put recyclables out for pickup is Wednesday.
City records show that only 30 percent of residents recycle, and of those, only about five percent follow recycling guidelines.
Matt Lowe, site manager for Waste Connections, said residents aren't purposely breaking recycling rules; they are simply uninformed.
“We get a lot of newspapers in the bins,” Lowe told city council members last week. “Only the actual paper is recyclable. The ads with the treated paper don't recycle, and they contaminate a load.”
Wrapping paper, paper coffee cups, and anything treated with a waxy, shiny surface typically contains non-recyclable plastic.
Food remnants, found on items such as pizza boxes and milk containers, also contaminate a recycle load, as do styrofoam, light bulbs and broken glass.
Residents wishing to recycle can bring their items to the transfer station located on Anderson County Road 367.
Disposal of large items, such as furniture or appliances can be scheduled once a month by calling Waste Connections at 903-731-8423.
Yard waste, such as leaves, grass and bundles of sticks can also be scheduled once a month. The limit on yard waste pickup is eight bags/bundles per month, with bundles not to exceed four feet in length, or 35 pounds.
Waste Connections officials say carts should be placed within three feet of the curb not later than 7 a.m. on collection day. Carts should be unobstructed by vehicles, mailboxes, or other objects. The handle and wheels should face the curb.
Per city ordinance, carts are to be removed from the curb by the following morning.
A full schedule of trash collection days can be found at: http://www.cityofpalestinetx.com/departments/public-works/trash/
For questions, call customer service at 903-731-8400.