There has been a lot of talk about why some Dallas residents have been asked to transition their trash pickup from the alley to the curb. According to Mary Nix, director of sanitation services, it all comes down to space requirements.

According to Nix, there are only two reasons any residents have been asked to change their pickup location. She said the majority of households that were asked to change previously set their trash out in bags or in smaller, non-city issued trash bins.  The new once a week pickup brings public health concerns into play, making the larger, city-issued trash bins essential.

This caused an issue on blocks where Nix said the alleys had only a foot or so of clearance on either side of the garbage trucks. Now, with the addition of the larger trash bins, there isn’t enough space for the trucks to maneuver, which necessitates a move to the street.

However, in a few cases, Nix said some blocks were converted simply because of “gained efficiencies from the adjacent blocks.” The example she gave was, if the 3400-4000 blocks of AnyStreet were converted, the 3300 block of AnyStreet may also have been converted so that the collection truck is routed for efficiency to the curb for all blocks.

Some of the residents who were asked to switch trash pickup from the alley to the curb were unhappy about the change, and the city is currently working with the Peninsula Neighborhood to reinstate alley trash pickup for blocks that were able to clear more space. Nix said any other neighborhoods who want to try the same thing should contact the sanitation department.

Watch Back Talk for more details over the next few days.

Editor’s note: Freelancer Elizabeth Elliott’s story "Alley oops?" will appear in the April Lakewood/East Dallas Advocate. This blog series expands on the piece.

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