Trash wars: Indian River Shores dumps pickup changes

INDIAN RIVER SHORES — At its August meeting, the Indian River Shores Town Council moved forward to reduce the frequency of trash pickups and increase the frequency of recycling collections.

But it seems many town residents – led by a vocal group from John’s Island – were not ready for the change.


Recognizing that many town residents recycle an increasing percentage of their waste, the original decision was to reduce trash pickups from twice weekly to once-a-week, and increase recycling from every other week to weekly collections.

Following publicity about the new schedule, Town Hall was deluged with phoned complaints.

In one day alone, the town received three-dozen calls from John’s Island residents urging it to reverse its decision and keep two-day per week trash pickup.

As a result, town officials decided to continue the twice-weekly trash collections and recyclables will be picked up only every other week as they are currently.

The change was designed as both an experiment at no extra cost, and a way to give residents more opportunity to recycle.

The data collected from the trial would have been used to help design an appropriate franchise agreement with Treasure Coast Refuse when the town negotiates its renewal next year.

According to Town Manager Richard Jefferson, recycling had increased by 50 percent during the first half of 2010.

Town officials did give avid recyclers some hope by saying that individual Homeowner Associations may negotiate directly with Treasure Coast Refuse for weekly recycling pickup at their own cost, should the residents of a community desire to do so.

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