Gas Prices Force Changes in Trash Pickup

Just about everyone is feeling the pinch at the pump, including many local sanitation departments.

In the town of Ashford, dump trucks get roughly two miles per gallon and with diesel nearing $5 dollars a gallon, the cost for biweekly trash pickups is adding up.

"We don't try to make money because we are a city, but we do try to break even. We are losing so much; something had to be done," says Larry Hubbard with Ashford Utilities.

That means switching from two trash pick ups a week to one.

"Some of the smaller towns have already let the county start picking up their garbage for them, but we'd like to keep it in Ashford if we possibly can," continued Hubbard.

Ashford residents currently pay $20 dollars a month for two pickups a week. City leaders say residents should start paying more attention to what they're throwing away.

By simply recycling leftover food items, you can drastically reduce the amount of trash you throw away. For non-food items, Ashford is considering recycling projects.

"We haven’t gotten very deep into it, but we know it's something that would save us a lot of money, as well as help keep the city green," adds Hubbard.

Overall, the city understands the reduction.

"There are some that are not going to like it, but the majority of the people we've been hearing from understand the situation,” Hubbard said. “They understand the fuel crisis we're going through because they're doing the same thing with their own personal vehicles."

It's all in an effort to save precious dollars.

“It will give us a small cushion if fuel prices continue to rise," Hubbard concluded.

According to AAA, the national average for diesel fuel is $4.73 a gallon.

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