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Scottdale council reverses on curbside pickup

| Wednesday, March 13, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Scottdale council decided on Monday night against instituting curbside garbage pickup.

Council had passed a motion for curbside pickup in February but, after weeks of complaints from residents, members decided against setting a date.

Councilman Jack Davis said that since he has been on council, he has not received as many phone calls on any issues as he has on this one. Councilwoman Joan Brown said the same.

Resident Dennis Mulligan said he is sensitive to council's concern about the borough's alleyways getting ripped up but doesn't think curbside pickup is the right solution.

“We have a lot of elderly people in the borough, and they are not physically able to carry a full can of trash from the back of their house to the front of their house on pickup days,” he said.

He added that when the cans are emptied, both the lids and the cans are more apt to blow over the main streets in the borough.

Another concern of Mulligan's was the large-item pickup days that happen once a month.

“If someone sets out a mattress in the front and the garbage haulers don't pick it up, I doubt the owner or renter is going to go out and drag it to the back,” he said. “I've talked to several people and I haven't heard anyone once say, ‘Wow, what a great idea this is.'

“I think we are going backwards with this,” Mulligan added. “I don't feel this is the solution.”

Councilwoman June Ostrosky, who voted against the original motion last month, said it is a safety issue as well.

“I don't want to see unsightly garbage sitting out in front of homes, and who's going to pick up the garbage that blows all over the streets,” she said. “We receive money from the garbage companies. Why not use some of that money to fix the alleys?”

Councilman Bud Santimyer said he has been driving around in the 3rd and 4th wards over the last month taking note of any problems that could arise with curbside pickup.

“Particularly in the 4th Ward, it seems like the streets are more narrow than streets in other parts of the borough, so it seems like there could be a problem with the trucks fitting in the streets,” he said.

“The alleyways are really being chewed up, so I really hope we can come up with a commonsense solution,” Santimyer added. “Maybe we can talk with the garbage company to see if they can drive smaller trucks on specific streets and alleyways.”

Borough Manager Angelo Pallone said the garbage contract is up in a few months, and council needs to look at asking for bids for both curbside and alleyway pickup under the new contract.

“At any point, we can do one or the other or we can do partial of one and partial of the other,” he said.

“There is no change in pickup right now,” Council President Andy Pinskey said. “Everything is status quo. It's quite obvious the people of Scottdale do not want to have curbside pickup.”

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.

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