KINGSPORT — Mayor Dennis Phillips has asked for a feasibility report on making pickup of yard waste and other trash on demand instead of the current schedule of every two weeks.
During a recent Kingsport Board of Mayor and Aldermen work session, Phillips asked Director of Public Works Ryan McReynolds to study the pros and cons of such a system and present it to the board.
Phillips said the switch, which would not affect weekly household garbage pickup, could save money in fuel, and McReynolds said many cities provide trash pickup on demand instead of scheduled.
McReynolds said the conversion would be a matter of educating the public.
For instance, he said that someone with two bags of grass clippings likely would be told to put the clippings in their household garbage container since it would not be cost-effective for a special trip to pick up that waste.
Phillips said picking up larger amounts on an as-needed basis would help reduce drive times and save money as the price of fuel continues to increase.
Phillips also said he’s still getting complaints from residents that city garbage staff tell them the city limits trash pickup to two scoops every two weeks.
Phillips said that leaves a lot of bags or leaves and grass and other items on the side of the road for weeks.
McReynolds responded that the two-scoop policy was changed last year.
Alderman Ken Marsh said a lot of cardboard ends up on the side of the road because the city won’t pick it up with trash. McReynolds said the city can’t because cardboard is supposed to be recycled, not taken to the demolition landfill, and the city’s recycling program does not take cardboard.
However, Sullivan County has cardboard and other recycling bins accessible to the public, including some behind the Civic Auditorium near Dobyns-Bennett High School.