City leaders and residents discuss waste services

DUNCAN, OK (RNN Texoma) -On Monday residents in Duncan expressed their concerns about trash pickup and waste service through their contractor Waste Connections.

In the past few weeks The South Central Oklahoma Environmental Agency and the City of Duncan have received complaints and wanted to get input from residents on how they can make things better.

Some residents spoke out about bags of leaves, old carpet, and furniture left on their curb for weeks. They also talked about paying to drop off large items at the cities transfer station. City leaders and officials from The South Central Oklahoma Environmental Agency were very pleased with the input they got, but left the meeting and said there is always room for improvement when it comes to communication and making sure everyone follows the rules.

Some residents talked about disposing of unwanted trash and debris after a storm.

"If there is a large storm event that has storm debris it falls under a classification that we would need to get with the city and do a special pick up," Merchant said.

The city of Duncan has a contract with "Waste Connections" and they recently made some changes that might be new to some residents.

"Things have changed and they want to know why," Merchant said.

Brenda Merchant is the Governmental Affairs and Municipal Manager for Waste Connections. She said they asked people to leave their trash cans out, plus 3 lawn and leaf bags that workers pick up twice during the week.

There is also a bulky waste pick up day that is once a month where residents can put out about 4 cubic yards of trash including trees.

 "We will pick up cut and bundled brush. It's described in their bulky waste program and  it tells you how long those limbs need to be. They need to be able to fit in the back of the truck, so they need to be a certain length and then they bundle them, and they can stack those out there. When it comes to great big tree stomps and things like that depending on the size of it that can also be picked up," Merchant said.

 While trash pickup and Waste Connections were the topic of discussion. Other residents like Christina Edwards attended the meeting to bring back a positive outlook.

"My husband is a driver so, Waste Connections is my family and my family was attacked on social media. But this is a  time to bring the positive back and understanding of rules and regulations that were set that a lot of people were misinformed about," Edwards said.
 
While Edwards has no problems with Waste Connections she wants people to follow the rules. 

"A lot of them are safety regulations about not to over flow their trash cans and that's just to keep the guys safe. Not only the drivers but the workers that ride on the back and when a trash can is over flowed it becomes a safety hazard for everyone around because there is a chance for stuff on the back to fall off," Edwards said.
 
Merchant said she and other city leaders are going to work together so the rules are fair to everyone.
 
"We are also going  to work on updating the city ordinances so that it actually help code enforcement. It will help reflect what is going on out here and how things should be set out at the curb," Merchant said.

At Mondays meeting they also discussed dropping off old items from construction sites and large trees at the transfer station. Residents can get 3 punches on their utility bill every month to drop off items for free. After the third drop off there is a charge.

City leaders are also working on a statement that will help residents understand the rules and guidelines.

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