A group of Flour Bluff residents want to do more to clean up trash that's littering some of their neighborhoods, and their complaints go beyond illegal dumping.
A town hall meeting was held Monday night by the Flour Bluff Citizens Council to discuss the city's pickup for heavy brush and bulky items. City officials, including the leaders of Solid Waste Services and Code Enforcement, were in attendance to address residents.
Shirley Thornton, president of the Flour Bluff Citizens Council, says she received several complaints from people about the most recent scheduled collection before organizing the meeting.
"Some piles were picked up. Other piles were not. With some, there was just a single fence board that kept the pile from being picked up," Thornton explains.
Both she and city council member Greg Smith, who represents Flour Bluff, believe that there may be some confusion on the part of residents who did not realize that the city was back to a normal collection schedule for heavy brush and bulky items.
"After Harvey, the city picked up everything and on this last pickup, it went back to the old ways of picking up on there. So we've got to be able to communicate that," Smith tells KRIS 6 News.
Thornton adds, "There are just so many problems attached to this and so much of it has to do with communications, education."
Monday's town hall allowed some of the confusion to be cleared up. Lawrence Mikolajczyk, director of Solid Waste Services, reminded residents that the city is back on a normal collection schedule. Those five-day periods are assigned to different areas of the city at specific times of the year. Those are the only times that people are supposed to set out the eligible items.
Thornton is hopeful that more communication with the city will lead to solutions to these pickups because it can contribute to problems with illegal dumping in Flour Bluff.
"If (debris piles) sit there, then people add on and add on and they grow higher and higher," she says.
As Smith explains it, "We need the whole city and all of Flour Bluff clean because one pile does invite another pile."
The city continues to work on issues of illegal dumping, saying that staff is working on proposed ordinances for tires and illegal dumping.
One idea discussed at the town hall is getting Flour Bluff on a regular schedule for the city's Litter Critter program. That brings a large brush collection truck to a neighborhood and is helped by volunteers. You can find more information and a link to the application by clicking here.