Talking Trash: Dallas Bulk Trash Changes Considered

Changes are being reviewed in the way Dallas collects residential bulk trash.

Dallas collects more bulk trash per household than any other large Texas city, according to reports to the Dallas City Council over the past two years.

A November 2016 briefing said the average collection is 1,400 pounds from each Dallas household. The city of Fort Worth collects less than 600 pounds per household.

Bulk trash collection is provided once each month with collection to begin on rotating Mondays. Almost anything left at the curb will be collected.

"It's bulk trash out of control. Twelve pick-ups a year, that's crazy," said Dallas City Councilman Lee Kleinman.

City crews patrol the streets during scheduled collection weeks to find bulk trash, using multiple trucks and several employees. It may take the entire week to pick up all the trash that was allowed to be placed at the curb the Friday before.

"That's just not acceptable," Kleinman said. "If you had on-demand, then you could schedule the day and then you put it out the day before."

The change Kleinman supports for on-demand scheduling could also limit bulk trash collection to as few as four times a year per household.

At the November 2016 briefing, city staff members said they would return with recommendations for possible changes in bulk trash collection.

"I don't know what's taking them so long to come back with the program. I don't think we're asking for anything unique," Kleinman said.

Previous briefings suggest the current program costs taxpayers more than other communities spend per household on bulk trash in manpower and landfill space.

Another briefing for the Dallas City Council is scheduled for February.

Sanitation Department officials declined comment until the next City Council session on the topic.

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