City scraps trash pickup changes

SAN BENITO — The city’s trash pickup schedule will stay.

City commissioners agreed to keep Republic Services current contract, which offers residents garbage pickup on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Last week, Commissioner Esteban Rodriguez proposed the city consider cutting down on garbage trucks’ travel along streets, which residents call the city’s biggest problem.

As part of his plan, Rodriguez proposed residents line their trash cans on one side of the street on Tuesdays and line them on the other side on Fridays.

The plan would apparently have cut garbage trucks’ travel in half.

Trimming truck travel would help reduce damage to the city’s streets, cutting down on repair costs, Rodriguez said.

But at a City Commission meeting last week, Ray Alegria, a representative with Republic Services, said the plan would require the city to negotiate a new contract.

Alegria also questioned whether the proposal would reduce truck travel.

As they crossed the street to line their trash cans, residents would also face additional traffic, Alegria said.

“It’s a liability for residents crossing the street,” he said.

From the audience, resident Lynne Pare suggested cutting trash pickup from twice to once a week to reduce truck travel and help cut rates.

But Alegria said the plan, which would also require new contract negotiations, could mean only “minimal” savings.

Alegria did not provide details.

Rodriguez said his proposal was based on residents’ concerns.

At a town hall meeting last month, resident Ben Cortez proposed the city could request residents line their garbage cans along one side of the street to prevent trucks from damaging the other side.

Cortez also proposed restricting garbage trucks to travel through alleys to collect garbage.

But Alegria said the company’s trucks no longer drive through alleys.