Pricey Pickup: Part I

Commissioners say it's another reason why Tallahassee stands out and why people love to live here. WCTV asked the questions of how much does this service cost, how much do people really use it, and is it something that could be done away with to save money?

The average person creates four pounds of garbage a day, so it's only natural that every community has a way to dispose of trash, but the city of Tallahassee says it's only one of maybe 10 communities in the country that does it with a service called “back door pickup.”

Barry Boldissar, City of Tallahassee Solid Waste General Manager, says, "Back door pickup is when the customer does not have to touch their trash cans outside their doors. They just put their household garbage into their containers and one of our crews will come by once a week, roll it to the curb, take the trash out and roll it back to their door."

And if that's not enough, the city also has once a week curbside pickup.

Allan Katz of the City of Tallahassee Commission, says, "I think it's a boon to our community to have back door pickup. It's rare that communities have it and I think it's one of those things our citizens have come to enjoy."

The city says the solid waste pickup costs about $1.5 million a year. It costs customers $15.30 per month for the services.

Barry Boldissar says, “That pays for all the services and the disposal of the trash. It pays for curbside and backdoor pickup, recycling, bulk and yard waste, special events, storm pickup and illegal dumping cleanup."

The city also uses Waste Management to do pickup for half of the city customers.

"They are our contractor. It's 50/50 and they do the same thing we do,” adds Barry.

The question is why does the city still have back door pickup while so many other communities have thrown it out?

"I only know of two communities in Florida. There may be 10 nationwide that provide regular back door pickup that is part of the regular fee," says Barry.