LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - Lawton residents may have a new way to have their bulk trash picked up all at their convenience, and it won't cost them a dime. Tuesday night, the city council will consider a proposal from the public works department to offer bulk pick up all year, and will allow residents two chances to schedule exactly when they want their trash to be taken away.
In the past, the clean-up events have been held twice a year, for about 3 weeks, where the collection trucks tackle the entire city's bulk waste. If residents need to schedule a pick up outside of those 3 weeks, it will cost them $110 an hour.
Lawton's Public Works Director Larry Wolcott says last year was not a great year for the bulk collection. During the spring event due to rainy weather, it took them twice as long to cover the whole city. It cost them more than $10,000 in overtime hours. In the fall, they didn't have enough employees to cover the route. So with this new program they hope it will help the city out, as well as the residents.
Lawton Resident Jeanette Weaver says her neighbors paid the $110 an hour to the city so city workers would collect all the bulk trash on their street, but Weaver says they still have more.
"You see I still have my basketball hoop out there," Weaver said. "That's broken and the kids can't use it, but I can't get it up to the dump."
Weaver says she's excited the city is looking into the all-year-round scheduled pick-up.
She says not everyone in her neighborhood has a way to get large appliances or piles of tree limbs to the landfill, and the twice a year pick up events were not always on time.
"You would put your things out on Sunday and it may be the following weekend before it gets picked up," said Weaver. "So you have just rain on it, and it just makes your lawn look bad so I'm very for it."
Wolcott says while they do want the new program to be convenient for the homeowners, they hope it will also solve some of the problems the city was faced with last year.
"Our goal is to definitely save fuel money, save overtime money and to lessen the impact on our equipment having to run it so hard for three weeks twice a year," said Wolcott.
Wolcott says with the new program they can work in the requested pick-ups into their routes so they would rely less on having enough sanitation operators, and continue regular trash pick-up.
Wolcott says if this plan passes he doesn't think they will ever have to go back to having the spring and fall bulk pick up. Instead he thinks that if the program really gains popularity they could have to get an extra truck and employee to cover the requests. He says while these two scheduled pick-ups will be free, any request after those will cost $110 an hour.