Wanted: Solution for noisy trash pickups in city

Early in the morning and sometimes late at night, Greenwood residents have been woken up to the loud clanking and banging of a trash truck emptying dumpsters behind retail shops and grocery stores.

And nearly every month, they have brought those concerns to Greenwood City Council members.

Now, the city wants to look into how much of an issue those trash pickups really are.

Residents in apartment complexes and near commercial areas have called city officials with complaints about being woken up as late as 11 p.m. and between 1 and 4 a.m. due to the loud sounds of trash trucks. City council member Brent Corey said he gets calls from residents monthly about the issue.

“We’ve tried to self-regulate this before. Trash haulers know. We need to do something on our side and make sure we fine tune it to something that is suitable for the citizens and trash haulers,” Corey said. “It’s an issue that needs to be looked at. It isn’t just one isolated case. It’s a broad, city-wide issue.”

But the city also wants to dig into how often this happens, and make sure that the trash companies can still do their job, city council members said.

Officials from three trash companies were not available to comment Monday.

Complaints about trash pick-up in the early morning hours are almost always from neighborhoods or apartment complexes next to commercial businesses, Deputy Mayor Terry McLaughlin said.

But not every trash truck or company collects near residential areas, council member David Lekse said.

“I’ll support the ordinance as long as we apply it to address the real problems,” Lekse said. “I don’t want to accidentally restrict trash companies that aren’t causing the problems.”

City council members initially discussed a proposal to ban all trash pick up between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m., but that may not be the best solution, officials said.

Now, officials are trying to determine how they can restrict trash pick-up hours without causing a major interruption to trash pick-up schedules. The focus will be on what areas will be involved and making sure trash hauling companies know the city has decided to set guidelines, Corey said.

The city council wants to discuss the proposal again next month after companies have been notified and officials have talked about the best way to restrict trash pick-up during early morning hours and late in the evening, council member Mike Campbell said.

“This is an issue we need to solve so it doesn’t come up again,” Campbell said. “If you go to the warehouses on the east side, picking trash up in the middle of the night is ideal, but when it comes to places where people live, we need trash picked up during the day during normal hours.”

Corey Elliot is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at celliot@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2719.