BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Changes could be coming to trash pickup services in Birmingham. With possible budget cuts, the Public Works Department presented a plan Thursday to streamline the city’s trash pickup.
“We’re one of a few cities where technically trash is legally allowed to be put on our streets five days a week,” Mayor Randall Woodfin said to the Committee of the Whole during a budget hearing. "We believe the way we currently do it is not necessarily efficient, or I can make it plainer. It’s not efficient.
The mayor, administration and public work officials laid out a three-step plan for garbage pickup citywide. Option one is to keep things as is. Option 2 is contracting with a garbage management company to pick up trash. That trash would be put in traditional cans for trucks to pick up.
Option 3 is automating the city’s garbage collection fleet and purchasing 20 side loaders and adding additional tippers to the existing fleet of trucks. The city says doing options two and three could save millions over a period of time.
“This has been discussed under a couple of other administrations and the deal killer was always people losing their jobs,” Valerie Abbott, a Birmingham City Councilor said.
But Mayor Woodfin says that won’t happen this time. “Whichever way you all choose to go, we will be keeping every single employee. They will just be reassigned to a different area within the department,” Woodfin said.
For the past six months, the “City Haul” pilot program has been picking up household garbage once a week in certain neighborhoods to reduce the amount of time it sits on roadways. The city will evaluate the progress of that to see if it’s worth continuing in the future.