City officials said they are receiving positive responses from residents regarding the brush sites and curbside carts initiatives.
"We opened two brush sites on Jan. 21, one on Broadway and the other on Eastern," Blair Snow, the city's interim assistant director of Public Works, said, noting the locations at the 3400 block of Broadway and 3700 block of S. Eastern St. are open Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, from 8 a.m. to noon. "Those are going really well. We installed cameras so we could watch for illegal dumping, but we have not experienced any, so that is good news. They are open for residential use only at no charge."
Officials said 99 residents have used the two brush site venues and customer calls have been primarily about hours.
"We've ordered a grinder and that should be arriving in April," Snow said. "And we have not had any issues with commercial contractors trying to take advantage of this. We also have a fencing contractor that will begin install fencing at both sites."
Meanwhile, Snow said the curbside carts program is also progressing.
"Our curbside cart program began in January," she said. "We started delivering those carts the week of January 7 and the following week we started the collections. The early indication on this program is that it's really effective in addressing those concerns we previously brought to you, such as dead end alleys, narrow alleys that are unsafe for our drivers, residents who have dumpsters in front of their homes and the hand collection residents."
Officials said staff concerns during the project's infancy include carts being left out on non-collection days and carts being placed too close to mailboxes or fences. Snow said staff is leaving tags on carts to inform customers of the concerns and expects what she described as minor issues to be addressed as the program moves forward.
"I just wanted to pass along some compliments I have gotten from my neighbors, because we are in one of the areas where we have had trash bag hand delivery," City council member Elaine Hays said. "The feedback I am getting is all positive. The other positive feedback is on the capacity, with people saying they have more than enough capacity required. And there is no charge for a second cart. In general, people are complimentary of animals not getting into their trash now. You all are also doing a great jobs answering questions."
Snow said the initial implementation of the curbside carts project serves as Phase One, which started with 2,400 (customers).
"We're going to add another 1,200 to 1,600, but our total number we have identified in those areas - unsafe alleys, dead end alleys, dumpsters in yards and hand collection, is 12,000," she said. "We'll do another couple of phases to get to those 12,000, but not the entire city."