Talking trash in Sioux Falls survey

KELOLAND.com Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Curbside garbage placement is the preference of most Sioux Falls residents who responded to a city survey.

The city of Sioux Falls did a website survey on garbage container placement in August. The results were recently posted on the city’s website.

Of those who responded, 58% said the city should allow curbside placement of garbage cans on trash day. Although the majority of respondents said they wanted curbside survey, there was more of an even split as to whether haulers should make that decision.

“My perception is, it does look like (the public) wants to have the option to have curbside service,” Josh Peterson of the city’s environmental department said.

Right now, the city of Sioux Falls doesn’t allow the curbside placement and pickup of garbage.

The garbage ordinance is one of several ordinances scheduled for a review and update, Peterson said.

Peterson said the survey results are scheduled to be presented to the council at an Oct. 12 informational meeting.

The survey could lead the city to change its ordinance but there is no such action scheduled on a city council meeting.

The council could change the ordinance to allow curbside placement or at a minimum, it needs to better clarify the placement of containers of garbage, recycling and yard waste, Peterson said.

About 4,000 people responded to a series of questions from the city. The survey sprang from the city’s allowance of curbside placement of garbage from April 2020 to April 2021. Although the city does not allow curbside placement, there are neighborhoods where garbage cans continue to be placed at the curb on trash day.

A total of 4,094 people responded to the question about allowing curbside placement. The 58% who said it should be allowed totaled 2,390 people while 1,361 said no. Three-hundred-forty-three had no opinion.

Those who favored curbside placement said it should be allowed because it’s more convenient for the hauler, safer for the hauler and it creates less impact on the environment because trucks are idling less and using less fuel.

Sixty-eight percent didn’t mind the look of garbage cans at the curb. But the look is a main reason why others don’t want curbside pickup.

Of those who don’t want curbside pickup, the possibility of the wind knocking over garbage cans was the main reason as well as the difficulty of getting cans to the curb. A third main reason was they didn’t like the way garbage cans looked on the curb.

Most respondents agreed that if garbage cans are left by the home or structure, the haulers need to retrieve them and bring them back.

If curbside placement is used, then the customer should bring the cans to the curb and retrieve them, respondents said.

Although a majority of respondents said curbside placement should be allowed, there was an almost even split as to whether the haulers should make that decision. Forty-two percent of the 4,054 respondents said haulers should not decide on curbside placement while 40.59% said they should. The survey said 17.42% had no opinion.

Of those who indicated their age, most (29%) of the respondents were in the 50 to 65 age range followed by very even splits between the 65-80 range, the 40 to 49 range and the 30 to 39 range.

Fifty-three of the respondents have lived in Sioux Falls for 20 years or more.

The survey also asked if all the garbage should be picked on the same day in a neighborhood.

For at least 1,300 respondents that didn’t seem to matter as that many (35%) had no opinion. But it did matter for 1,900 (49%) respondents who said they wanted pick up on the same day.

Peterson said a suggestion for same day garbage pickup in neighborhoods or quadrants of the city has come up in discussions with garbage hauler.

“There is nothing planned as far as update for that,” Peterson said. “There is some support for that.”

Some support is indicated in the garbage survey, he said.

“But by far the biggest topic is container (placement),” Peterson said.

The survey report also contains 1,337 written responses in the 90-page report.

One comment shared indicated the resident was shocked the city did not have curbside placement and that haulers have wanted customers to put containers curbside for years.

Some other comments cited the difficulty older people may have in putting containers at the curb. Other comments cited the convenience of curbside for the haulers and less noise for the resident.

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