Earth Friendly: City will pick up unwanted, large items
Spring is almost upon us, and that means one thing: out with the old and in with the new. What do you do with all those big, bulky items you need whisked away? Simple, call the solid waste department with the city of Victoria, schedule a pick up and - voila - it's gone.
There are a few things Victoria residents should know before placing large or bulky items curbside. To keep the city as nice and clean as your home after a good spring cleaning, a new ordinance has been enacted that will reduce the amount of time bulky items spend at curbside.
The city ordinance now states that brush and bulky items should not be placed by the curb for longer than 48 hours before the scheduled collection time. The easiest way to comply with the code is to call for a pickup appointment for your bulky items before you plan on disposing of them. This will help callers avoid possible fines for putting large items at the curb too early. The number to call is 361-485-3220.
Large-item pickup occurs through appointment only and each residence is allocated two pickups per calendar year (Jan. 1-Dec. 31). Piles of bulky items larger than 6 cubic yards (4 foot by 4 foot by 10 foot), about the dimensions of a large picnic table, will incur a charge of $1.50 per minute to remove to extra items. Most bulky item pickups take less than five minutes, which is much less expensive than hiring a company to dispose of the items. Residents needing more than two bulky item pickups a year will be assessed a service fee of $20 plus $1.50 per minute.
Please remember that it is against the city code to leave bulky items by the curb outside of your designated pickup schedule or without first making a collection appointment. The city's code enforcement office will tag bulky items left at the curb for multiple days, and fines can be charged to violators. Residents will receive a letter giving them seven days to remove or discard the items.
If you receive such a letter, call the city immediately (361-485-3220) to schedule a pickup. If the items are not removed within the seven days, the city's solid waste department will pick up the items, and residents will incur a service fee of $20 plus $1.50 per minute. Code enforcement administrative fee of $137 will also apply on their next water bill. For a look at the complete ordinance, visit library.municode.com.
But remember, there are certain items that require special care before being discarded, such as refrigerators and deep freezers. Electronics are not accepted through bulky item collection. Electronics and other e-waste must be disposed of using the household hazardous waste collection (1-800-449-7587).
Your best bet is to call the staff at the solid waste department to ensure the items you place at curbside will be accepted, do not require special care and will be put on the schedule before placed at curbside to avoid unnecessary fines. They'll get you set up right.
Kate Garcia is the interim programs coordinator for the city of Victoria, environmental services.