Seattle to consider every other week trash collection

by: Graham Johnson Updated:

Seattle is considering going to every other week trash pickup.
SEATTLE —

The Seattle City Council took a step Monday toward reducing trash pickups from once a week to every other week.

In 2014, incoming Mayor Ed Murray and the new council will consider whether to actually make the change, which Seattle Public Utilities says would reduce the overall cost of garbage service from $70 million to $64 million.

 In 2012, the city tested every other week trash pickup with 800 households in four neighborhoods.

The city says 63 percent of residents reported they were satisfied, compared with an 89 percent satisfaction rate for weekly garbage pickup.

In December 2012, resident John Platt told KIRO 7 he composted more during the pilot program, but his son's diapers posed a challenge.

 "Diapers can't be composted so those sat around for two weeks in the garbage so it was good to keep the lid on," Platt said at the time.

On Monday in West Seattle, homeowner John Gibson questioned the wisdom of reducing garbage service.

 "I think it would be a health hazard, quite frankly," Gibson said.

 The move the city council took Monday authorizes Seattle Public Utilties to re-negotiate contracts with waste haulers to allow for the possible service reduction.

City leaders are expected to decide whether to pursue reduced service by April 2014.

If they move forward, the change could take effect in April 2015.

Seattle Public Utilities says the cost of garbage collection also covers other things such as recycling, which is listed as free on a bill.

That's why for a 50 percent service reduction, the city estimates residents would only save between five and 10 percent on their bills.