As chronicled in The Times, there is some consternation within Apalachicola about residents moving trash cans to streets in front of homes for pickup rather than alleys. (See Dec. 16 Times “Trash pick-up to move out of alleys.”) In wet weather, alleys can turn into quagmires, resulting in broken sewer, water and gas lines, yucky mud bogs, stuck trucks, etc.
Here in Pennsylvania a few decades ago a similar trash-out-front requirement spread, town by town, through our region.
By now, nobody even notices. It does work out.
I am 79. I schlep my trash about 300 feet to the front end of my driveway, even with a foot or more of snow on the ground — and one-third of that distance is uphill. Two months out of each year, I put my trash out into an Apalach alley. I could just as easily schlep it out front in Florida as I do in Pennsylvania.
Florida's high water table will always turn unpaved alleys into slop chutes during wet weather but streets are paved and can handle the weight of trash trucks.
The change is unsettling to some — as is any change. But I can say that out-front collection of trash works well enough once wrinkles are eliminated. Collectors are considerate of genuine shut-ins. In a few communities, there is an additional monthly charge for fetching trash from alleys or beside houses. Within a few years, that surcharge all but disappears as people adapt to the new procedure.
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