Residents: Not enough room on streets for city garbage cans

By Samantha Ptashkin - Reporter

HOUSTON - The city of Houston's recently expanded automated curbside recycling program has left some Houstonians confused about the rules. Some say they'll get in trouble if their front yard is too small.

Taking out the trash should be a simple task. But in the cramped Cottage Grove neighborhood, the black and green bins are becoming unbearable.

"To begin with we don't have the space to give the three-foot rule," said George Silva.

Silva is talking about the city's garbage pick-up rule. The rule states the bins must be three feet apart, otherwise they won't get picked up.

The city says the rule is necessary in order to allow the automated arm on the truck to grab a bin without hitting something else. But Silva says the design of the neighborhood makes it impossible.

"You're talking about properties like this where one house once stood, now has four to five units on it,. You do that times two garbage cans and line them up on the street, well we don't have the space for it," he said.

The city won't issue citations if residents don't abide by the rule. But as it states on the bin, your trash won't get picked up. It's an inconvenience Silva has experienced a few times.

"And so it accumulates until next week, so luckily we have friendly neighbors that say you can use our garbage can and put whatever is left over from the week before," said Silva.

Local 2 asked the city what residents should do and a spokesperson wrote, "If space is limited, residents are asked to share trash and/or recycling containers."

Silva says it's not much of a solution considering he's paying for the services. For now he'll continue rolling out his bins, hoping his trash doesn't get left behind.

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