Yard debris pickup service ends for Helena residents

Debris pick up changes in Helena
Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 7:54 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - If you live in Helena, your yard debris pickup service is going away because of lack of funding, and that $7 charge on your utility bill is going away too.

Without any funding, the Helena city council had no other choice but to terminate the service, leaving Helena residents without yard debris pickup.

The service currently runs every week throughout the city of Helena.

City Councilman Chris VanCleave said he put together four different solutions to try and save the service, however none were accepted.

To fully fund it in our municipal budget, one was to outsource it to a third party, and then I came up with an idea to expand that service to all citizens for a fee of $6 a month, that is 20 cents a day for every household, and we have about 6,000 households in Helena that would fully fund the program,” VanCleave said. “We found that we could also expand the yard debris pickup to things like old refrigerators, mattresses, you know, old furniture as well.”

Part of the reason why the solutions weren’t accepted was due to negative feedback from residents on social media concerned about a tax or paying extra fees.

“If you are going to a third party for debris pickup, buyer beware, do you research, go to the Better Business Bureau, check out that company and make sure that they are reputable and that you are doing business with a licensed company,” VanCleave said. “Someone that is not going to damage your home or your property when they are doing a yard debris removal.”

This doesn’t just end the debris pick service - it also discontinues the city’s annual bulk trash day.

“People who don’t want to use to the debris service will pile up things in their garage and bring it once a year for free to bulk trash day,” VanCleave said.

The current subscription fees total around $170,000 a year, however that does not support the actual cost of the service, which is about $400,000 a year.

A letter will be sent to all subscribers informing them of the decision made in this past city council regular meeting.

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