Citizen complains about lack of city bulk trash service

By Katrina Goforth -

At Tuesday night’s Altus City Council meeting, the council heard comments from an Altus citizen, Karen Sanchez who voiced her concern about the lack of bulk trash service in town.

Sanchez pointed out that Altus utility customers are charged a monthly fee for flatbed, bulk trash pickup service but that service has not been happening.

Garbage rates, according to the City of Altus website, are $16.02 per month inside city limits, $32.04 per month outside city limits, $3.31 solid waste management fee and $2 truck fee with container service once a week.

Sanchez said flatbed trash pickup service has been scarce or nonexistent and attempts to use contractors have failed, while trash and debris continue to pile up around town threatening the health of Altus residents and their domestic animals.

Sanchez cited her personal experience with a neighbor dumping contents of a vacant home in their shared alley. She told the council she reached out to the neighbor, City of Altus Utilities Department, and code enforcement and has seen no action.

The buildup of debris has been blocking easements, contains sharp objects and rotting food and harbors wild animals, according to Sanchez.

“You need only to look around Altus to see the same scenario,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez proposed that the council make bulk trash service a priority and expects to see an agenda item at the next City Council meeting scheduled for Nov. 21 at 6:30 p.m. whether that is by hiring another contracting service or purchasing equipment that would allow city workers to pick up bulk trash to ensure the alleys are debris-free and accessible.

Though council members are not permitted to open a discussion during public comments, City Manager Janice Cain said at the end of the meeting during the City Manager’s comments agenda item.

Cain said bulk trash service is a problem the City of Altus is trying to fix either through finding equipment to purchase, gaining quotes from contractors and educating the public about how to work with the city to prevent debris buildup in the alleys.

Sanchez did not stay to hear Cain’s comments.

In October, the City of Altus issued a release informing the public that the City of Altus is waiving the 1,500-pound limit that can be discarded for free at the city landfill. Currently, Altus residents are allowed to dispose an unlimited amount at the landfill located approximately 8 miles west of Altus off U.S. 62.

For more information, contact the Altus Sanitation Department at 580-481-2251.

By Katrina Goforth

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