(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) St. Joseph is soon to put a lid on its litter problem.
Monday, the St. Joseph City Council put an end to curbside trash. The council passed a bill which will require St. Joseph residents to place their trash in a garbage bin, no longer laid out on the curb, by August 1st.
It's a move supported by the Litter Initiative Committee in hopes of containing the city's litter issue.
“You can drive around on any day of the week in St. Joseph and see trash put out for collection and in many cases, just in plastic cases or in a poly cart, but overflowing," said Isobel McGowan, Chair of St. Joseph's Litter Initiative Committee, "It is such a huge source of litter. The committee that we formed was really to address the litter problem."
With no municipal citywide trash collection service, St. Joseph residents are on their own when it comes to trash pickup which means by the end of summer, they'll have to find their own bin.
McGowan suggests residents search for reused bins that are less expensive in price rather than buying a new bin at a big box store. She also said the city is in talks of helping those who cannot afford a trash can.
Councilman Marty Novak, co-sponsor of the bill, said the initiative isn't to punish residents, but a way to keep St. Joseph sanitary.
“There will be some sort of enforcement measures: warnings, letters and so forth. Basically, we just want people to comply. We’re not looking to try and make money on the thing. We’re just trying to clean up the city,” said Novak.
Local trashmen are on board with the bill. They said it's going to make their job easier.
“Honestly, yeah because I’m not going to have to clean up as many messes. I can just grab a barrel and dump it,” said Reyce Merritt, owner of Garbology Trash Service.
Reyce Merritt, owner and single operator of Garbology Trash Service, picks up trash for 700 customers. He said most customers have cans, some don't. Merritt hopes by the end of the summer, residents see canning up their trash is a win win.
“You’re going to save a mess, you’re going to help out your trashman out and keep the city cleaner,” said Merritt.
The tentative date for the bill is August 1st.