Melissa Miller is among 20 percent of Toledoans who had difficulty with the city's new trash pickup arrangement. She says she was about to place her trash out at the curb on the normal pickup day before being reminded of the schedule change. Pickup dates will rotate according to holidays to avoid paying overtime.
Melissa Miller was about to give into habit Wednesday night and drag the trash cans from behind her Harley Road home to the curb for pickup yesterday morning - something her downstairs neighbors already had done that evening.
"My boyfriend knew about the change and stopped me," she said. "I had no idea about it."
About 20 percent of her West Toledo neighbors were also in the dark about the city's new trash collection schedule.
Refuse collection days now leap forward one business day after each city holiday, resulting in no weekend holiday collection to save the city about $400,000 a year in overtime costs.
Ms. Miller's neighborhood was a Thursday morning pickup area, which means it shifted to Friday mornings after New Year's Day and will move again to Mondays after Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, on Jan. 19.
"We are very pleased with our citizen response to it and we are finding very good compliance," said Bill Franklin, the city's pub-lic service director. "We expected more confusion than this."
He said most areas were averaging just 10 to 15 percent noncompliance.
"This was the worst day," Mr. Franklin said of the formerly Thursday morning pickup areas. "But even at 20 percent, I would deem that's pretty good."
Recyclables are still picked up every other week.
The 13 holidays are New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Day, Presidents' Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas.
Collection will leap two days when there are back-to-back holidays such as Christmas Eve and Christmas.
The city posted a color-coded 2009 calendar on its Web site, www.ci.toledo.oh.us and set up a hot line at 419-245-1494. Also, the city plans to place the next month's calendar in The Blade as an advertisement on the last Friday of each month in 2009. The calendars also will be available at city offices, senior centers, Kroger, The Andersons stores, and the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library.
Collection days will be color-coded: For those whose collection is Monday, the color will be yellow. Tuesday will be green, Wednesday will be orange, Thursday will be blue, and Friday will be red. For recycling: If you are an "A" customer, you will be a "1." If you are a "B" customer, you will be a "2."
Warning stickers were placed on the trash cans placed at the curb too early, Mr. Franklin said.
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