The city of Casa Grande is once again grappling with problems in the alleys and talking about an end to trash pickup there. Residents of some older neighborhoods might not realize that much of the city has no alleys and Casa Grandeans living there are accustomed to wheeling trash containers out to the front curb on pickup days. The bigger challenge, however, is in dealing with yard trimmings and other bulk trash. And that is a challenge for residents and city workers alike.
Those with alleys can simply pile the yard waste back there, to be picked up on a schedule every several weeks. Years ago those pickups were more frequent. With front pickup, the debris must be put out on the appropriate day and a pickup scheduled.
Alley problems mainly involve excessive trash, blocking access and dumping by non-residents. Front pickup likely would eliminate many of those problems while forcing some residents to adjust. There also is a fear that alley dumping would continue in some cases, although modern technology such as cameras can be used to catch violators.
Some of the problem is even related to use of larger trucks by the city, but better, bigger equipment brings efficiency, and that is important to keeping costs to residents down. In some cases alleys have been narrowed improperly.
Older neighborhoods with alleys may tend to have more bulk trash because some of the lots are bigger, and newer neighborhoods mostly have homeowners associations where professional landscapers handle the trimming in common areas, removing it and taking it to the landfill.
City staff has advised the City Council that ideas on illegal dumping and alleys will be considered during the annual budget process, which is the proper forum. That could lead to an end to alley pickup, which may ultimately be the best solution. In the meantime, residents will have time to offer their own ideas.