WASHINGTON — A new system of collecting garbage less frequently in Prince George’s County, Maryland, has not gone over very well with residents, according to a countywide study released on Thursday.
The survey results come a little over a year after the county council voted to have trash collected just once each week instead of twice as a means of saving money and promoting recycling.
According to the study, more than 74 percent of residents do not approve of the change and express interest in switching back to twice-a-week service. Less than 26 percent expressed support for the new system.
“While our change to once-a-week trash service had good intentions, the residents we serve have responded with overwhelming disapproval for this reduction in service,” said Prince George’s County Council member Mel Franklin, who released the survey results.
“I have particularly heard a great deal of negative feedback from our seniors, who have found physically adjusting to the change in service challenging.”
More than 2,000 county residents responded to the survey which was conducted online over a period of 45 days.
Franklin, who voted for the once-a-week service, said the change was a “mistake” and that trash pickup “is one of the few ways that nearly all of our residents feel the impact of their local government on a weekly basis.”
He said he will be talking with his colleagues and exploring how to potentially switch back to the twice-a-week pickup.
Adam Ortiz, director of the county’s department of the environment, lobbied for the change ahead of the council’s vote in March of last year. He said jurisdictions surrounding Prince George’s County have switched to once-a-week trash pickup without any issues.
“This is an opportunity to tie a lot of loose ends together and provide streamlined, efficient services to our residents,” Ortiz said. “We want to make sure we use what resources we have as efficiently and as wisely as possible.”