Salt Lake City Councilman Says New Garbage Pickup Program Doesn’t Seem To Be Working

Aug 2, 2018, 10:17 PM | Updated: 11:00 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – It might be a good time to sell your house in Salt Lake City.

However, Patrick Brown says it’s not a good time to get rid of all the stuff he wants to throw away from his old house.

“They eliminated a really good program that worked for something that doesn’t work,” said Brown, while sitting on his front porch in Sugarhouse.

Garbage on side of road
(Photo by Winston Armani, KSL TV)

Brown is talking about Salt Lake City’s new “Call to Haul” program which replaces the old Neighborhood Clean Up program.

Now, instead of putting your bulk garbage out on the streets on a certain day, residents call the city to arrange a bulk garbage pickup.

The problem is, right now, the backlog is about three months long.

Old mattresses
(Photo by Winston Armani, KSL TV)

“People when they’re trying to get rid of their stuff, that’s just too long of a timeline for residents,” said Brown. “There’s a reason there’s trash everywhere is because people are expecting the city to do its job and pick it up.”

Several streets in the Glendale and Rose Park areas have mattresses, couches, and other large garbage items lining the sides of streets.

Some are blaming the new “Call to Haul” program.

Charlie Luke

“It’s not working the way it was touted to work,” said Charlie Luke, who is a Salt Lake City councilman. “That’s problematic when you have a service that worked and you alter it to the point where it’s ineffective or becoming a burden to residents, that’s becoming problematic to me.”

Luke says he has heard from plenty of residents complaining about the new program, especially about the months-long wait to schedule a pickup.

Old wood
(Photo by Winston Armani, KSL TV)

“Garbage pickup is one of those core services and when something doesn’t work, you do hear about it. And we should,” said Luke.

MORE: Trash Piles Forming On Sides Of Salt Lake City Streets

Luke thinks it might be time to look at going back to Neighborhood Clean Up, even though it was eliminated, in part, as a way to try and fight illegal dumping.

“It was one of the reasons we needed to change and move away from Neighborhood Clean Up was the piles. We’re moving away from the piles,” said Sophia Nicholas, Salt Lake City’s Sustainability Division communications manager.

(Photo by Winston Armani, KSL TV)

During an interview Tuesday, Nicholas said the city knew there was going to be some challenges this year as residents try out the new program.

“We understand that this year, 2018, was going to be a transition year, so we sent mailers to all the households that receive our services. We have put notices on curbside containers. We are excited about the new service, but there is a bit of a transition period,” said Nicholas.

(Photo by Winston Armani, KSL TV)

However, illegal dumping seems to still be happening.

“What I would rather see is us going back to what we had done before that was successful, that did work, and if we need to have additional funding to add a spot cleanup crew, let’s do that,” said Luke. “It’s not that I don’t want to see ‘Call to Haul’ work. It’s just that I’m seeing that it’s not working.”

Mattresses and other items
(Photo by Winston Armani, KSL TV) Garbage
(Photo by Winston Armani, KSL TV) Trash
(Photo by Winston Armani, KSL TV) Old mattresses
(Photo by Winston Armani, KSL TV) Garbage dumped
(Photo by Winston Armani, KSL TV) Garbage on side of road
(Photo by Winston Armani, KSL TV) Old wood
(Photo by Winston Armani, KSL TV) Charlie Luke
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Salt Lake City Councilman Says New Garbage Pickup Program Doesn’t Seem To Be Working