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Dallas to phase out most alley trash collection – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

The way you take out the trash in Dallas could change. The city says it plans to phase out most alley trash collections in favor of curbside over the next few years, citing worker safety, greater efficiency and cost savings.

Each of us produces about five pounds of waste per day, according to the latest estimate from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. So it’s no surprise that the way waste is collected is of interest to at least almost everyone.

A point shared by Dallas District 1 Councilman Chad West, who represents parts of Oak Cliff and Bishop Arts

“This is an issue that residents I’ve never heard of in five years are coming out and blowing my mind about it,” West said, referring to phone calls and messages.

Most Dallas residents already have trash on the street, but 38 percent still receive curbside pickup.

Cookie Peadon, president of the North Dallas Neighborhood Alliance, says homeowners there are concerned that elderly neighbors will be able to meet the physical demands of moving a trash can and recycling bin from an alley to the curb.

“A lot of people here would resent it and a lot of people here are elderly now,” Peadon said. “I think a lot of it has to do with mobility issues.”

Kimberly Bizor Tolbert, interim Dallas city manager, said the city’s sanitation department plans to phase in the change.

“This isn’t going to be an overnight change where we’re going to make it, but we definitely need to start looking at this.”

During a briefing to the city council on Tuesday, the Department of Sanitation Services explained the timing and criteria for street trash collection to switch to curbside.

Sanitation Department Director Clifton Gillespie says modern garbage trucks are ten feet wide and older, and narrow alleys simply can’t accommodate larger trucks.

In addition, Gillespie told council members that switching to more curbside collection could save $9 million a year, which he said would slow the growth of increases paid by taxpayers but could not guarantee that sanitation costs would be reduced.

The plan calls for ending curbside trash pickup in 8-foot-wide alleys by January 2026 and in 11-foot-wide alleys six months later.

If a 10-foot-wide concrete paved alley has an additional 5 feet of right-of-way, the city says those alleys can pick up trash with automated side-loading trucks that can navigate safely.

The change does not require a vote, so the city council is pushing for a slow rollout this week.

“I need help communicating this to the neighbors,” District 10 Councilmember Kathy Stewart said.