“If you see something, say something.”
That admonition usually applies to airports and other potential terrorism targets.
But on Oct. 18, in St. Joseph, those words will apply to refuse.
That’s when the city has scheduled the next curbside rubbish pickup and the city is as serious about the warning as any airport security officer.
During the last pickup in May, Republic Services collected 77 tons of refuse and suspected some of the mountains of trash may have come from outside the city.
Those 77 tons translates into hundreds of pounds of trash per household and at some point the extra hauling expenses may be picked up by St. Joseph residents.
At a May 17 City Council meeting, members discussed the issue with Republic staff. The council did not make any rate changes under the current contract with Republic. But the council decided to use enforcement and public awareness to solve the abuse during the fall pickup before considering any changes.
Possible solutions to the out-of-town dumpers include raising collection rates or ending curbside pickup. Instead of curbside pickup, residents would need to haul their discarded items to a central location where IDs would be checked for residency.
Of course, that would make the service far less useful for residents who don’t have vehicles or who don’t have vehicles large enough to accommodate larger discarded items.
So the pickup will go ahead on Oct. 18.
Residents need to place their items on the curb by 6 a.m.
St. Joseph residents will have an additional opportunity to clean up their homes when there’s an appliance and electronics collection from 8 a.m.-noon on Tuesday, Oct. 30, behind the former Colt’s Academy building. There’s a limit of two items for patrons of the city’s refuse program.
In both cases, be ready to show an ID.
The police department will write tickets to people who live outside the city.
So, tell your friends to leave their trash at home.
And if you see anyone dumping off trash at someone else’s curb, say something.
Otherwise, the convenient curbside program might end or the price could go up.