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With so many news breaking stories in the paper recently, perhaps trash and recycling have moved down readers' priority lists. But the fact is, the trash and recycling problem has not gone away. It is still on the Gainesville City Council's agenda for 5:30 p.m. today at the Georgia Mountains Center and July 22 at the Civic Center.
At its March 16 meeting, City Council announced that, for budget purposes, they had a proposal from the public works director to change the trash service to once weekly curbside service. A 96-gallon barrel for trash and a 65-gallon recycling container would be provided for residents to carry to the curb.
For years, Gainesville has had backyard trash collection, which has been a drawing card for retirees to this community. It has been an appreciated service for seniors, any-age person with health or handicap problems or anyone with a challenging driveway.
The overcrowding of our streets with these barrels and bins causes new issues to develop: hazardous traffic problems, cluttered walkways and beautification of our town is jeopardized.
The curbside idea was tabled for further studies, ending July 10.
I followed our newspaper's stories that reported numerous explanations of the problems encountered by the trash collectors and drivers: hilly driveways, heavy loads to carry and other uncomfortable situations. The proposals to solve these problems sounded good for the waste collection employees.
But consequently, it appears that the solutions to ease their job transfers problems from the waste department onto the residents that the department serves.
Must Gainesville change its service because Atlanta or Colorado did?
I have no solution to offer, but I can enlighten Council and the waste department that during the once-weekly trial collection, I definitely noticed more appropriate recycling occurring and less litter interference for sidewalk traffic. I give credit to The Times for excellent coverage (May 15) on recycling. It reinforced the importance of recycling education and the positive results it influenced.
I realized the number of caring people living here who so proudly wish to keep Gainesville uniquely special, beautiful and comfortable to share with others. The big hearts in this wonderful town are noticed and make my own heart beat with joy for the loving, caring community God has given us.
To all who wish to keep backyard pickup and have recycling rules enforced after providing newcomers, please attend one or both City Council meetings and speak out if your heart is ready to. Perhaps one of you may have a happy, inspiring solution. Let's go and see.
Alice Ann Mundy