- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—SAN ANGELO, Texas — Perpetual rows of hefty green and tan buckets flanking most city streets are now a common view.

A week into life with revamped trash pickup methods and recycling options, San Angeloans continue to adjust to the new offerings from Republic Services.

Naturally, there have been hiccups.

Most of the complaints Republic has fielded from customers regard collection day and pickup point confusion, coupled with drivers learning new routes, according to a city of San Angelo news release.

Collection is not operating at peak efficiency as drivers master routes and customers grasp when and where to place their bins, company officials said.

Pickup times have been the No. 1 issue with constituents in her district, Councilwoman Elizabeth Grindstaff said.

As of July 20, garbage collection and curbside recycling switched to a weekly pickup schedule on the same day, altering numerous schedules.

Residents should remain lenient early on, Grindstaff said.

“They’re going to get better,” she said. “We need to give them opportunities. We’re going to have to be patient.”

Councilman Rodney Fleming has received calls from residents whose trash bins were neglected on their pickup day.

Some streets and blocks were missed as drivers acclimate to new routes, Republic officials said, apologizing for the inconvenience and assuring matters will be ironed out within three to four weeks.

“While there is a learning curve for all involved, we are pleased by the community’s enthusiasm and participation thus far,” Ray Grothaus, general manager of Republic Services, said in the city news release. “We appreciate our customers being patient with us as we navigate the change. We understand it’s a big change, but we’ll get through it, and we’ll all be the better for it.”

Republic deployed support trucks with men riding on the backs to ensure all homes are serviced during the new service transition.

The trucks service a small portion of each route and homes that might have been missed.

After routes are completed, Republic has provided courtesy “go-back” service for customers who missed their collection day or placed their bins in the wrong spot.

The volume of questions and requests have slowed response times, company officials said in the news release.

Fleming has been surprised by how separating trash from recyclables made room in his bins.

Switching to two 96-gallon bins — one for trash and the other for recycling — was daunting with a family of five including three teenagers, Fleming said.

On Monday, the day before his scheduled pickup, his trash was only half full, he said.

Republic estimates 80 percent of residential garbage collection customers partook in curbside recycling during the first week of new automated pickup services, according to a news release.

The community’s response to recycling impressed company officials, who expected about two-thirds of their customers would use the service.

“We have worked hard to make the transition to recycling as smooth as possible,” Grothaus said in the release. “In no time, this will be second nature for all of us.”

Contact Republic at 325-481-7700 with any questions, or visit cosatx.us/SolidWaste for more information and a map of the collection schedule.

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(c)2015 the San Angelo Standard-Times (San Angelo, Texas)

Visit the San Angelo Standard-Times (San Angelo, Texas) at www.gosanangelo.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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