You’ve probably noticed all the OneDAY Dallas bus ads, billboards and radio ads. If not, you’ve certainly noticed that your trash service has been cut down to once a week pickup. Nothing else will change for the majority of Dallas residents, but approximately 3,000 homes in the older parts of Dallas (especially East Dallas) have been told they have to transition from alley trash pickup to curbside pickup.

According to Mary Nix, director of sanitation services, many residents have noticed dinged up fences and ruts in their lawns as a result of picking up trash in the too-cramped alleys. Consequently, she said the majority of residents are okay with switching to curbside pickup. “They definitely realize that the alleys have been troublesome,” she said. Nix said 70 percent of Dallas homes already have trash pickup on the street and many neighborhoods have been that way for years.

However, many East Dallas residents are upset with the change. In an e-mail to Nix, Chip Northrup, a Peninsula Neighborhood resident, said one of his primary concerns is that residents of his neighborhood have no open side yards or sidewalks to roll a trash bin on. Therefore, he said many residents would leave the trash bins in front of the house permanently which is not an attractive solution.

More after the jump.

Other concerns include how elderly or disabled residents will be able to pull the heavy garbage cans back and forth, if the garbage trucks will slow through traffic on the street during pickup and whether drive-up appeal and property values will be adversely affected.

Residents of the Peninsula Neighborhood contacted Nix about finding a way to resume their alley pickup service, and Nix said she thinks each one of their concerns have been addressed. After driving through the neighborhood alleys, Nix told residents that the city would be willing to resume the alley service if certain conditions were met.

Peninsula Neighborhood residents have already made many of these changes, but alley service has not resumed yet. However, Nix said the neighborhood has done “amazing things to get alleys cleared” and the city is still working on the issue. “We’re sticking with them and we’ll find a way to serve them either adequately or great,” she said.

So, does this mean that any neighborhood that is unhappy with a switch to curbside pickup can appeal to the city to have their alley service reinstated? Yes. Nix said unhappy residents should contact the sanitation department to schedule their own alley drive through. Following the drive through, Nix said residents will be told what, if anything, they can do to get their alley pickup resumed. 

Watch Back Talk for more details in the coming days.

Editor’s note: Freelancer Elizabeth Elliott’s story "Alley oops?" will appear in the April Lakewood/East Dallas Advocate. This blog series expands on the piece.