Tips for trash pick-up day

This article was first published about four years ago. It has been updated to reflect recent changes in the collection of garbage and recyclables in our area.

According to research by the nationwide organization, Keep America Beautiful, household trash scattered before or during collection is one of the seven primary sources of roadside litter.

“Overfull carts almost always spill trash or recyclables on the ground or the top of the truck when the load is dumped,” Ashley Smith of EMADCO said. “The only way for us to have a clean dump is to have the lids all the way down with nothing sticking out.”

Call EMADCO for information regarding getting more toters if you need them. By following the tips below on trash pickup day, each one of us can play a significant role in eliminating this source of litter.

* Contain and secure: For garbage, make sure trash is contained in bags, and make sure trash is entirely inside the can or toter with the lid closed tight. Loose trash in garbage cans has a higher risk of becoming roadside litter. For the recyclables in the toters, they do not need to be separated or bagged (except for shredded paper which must be bagged), however, placing newspapers and junk mail in paper grocery bags will reduce the risk of litter on the roads.

Recyclables must be entirely inside the toter with nothing sticking out. Having the lids closed tight will also help to animal-proof your can. Coyotes, dogs, cats, bears, even deer can create a huge mess if they decide there’s an easily accessible tasty meal in your trash. (And, such garbage is not healthy for animals.)

* Pick up: When taking your can to the roadside and when retrieving your trashcan after trash pickup day, spend a few extra minutes picking up litter along your property line and 100 feet in each direction. If we all implemented this one tip, the roadside litter problem would be well on its way to being eliminated.

* Report: If you witness trash falling or flying off a trash truck, let the company know as soon as possible. You may also call (800) TELLCHP, (800) 835-5247 to report the problem of trash falling or flying off of any vehicle. This 24-hour number can be used to report any non-emergency situation affecting our highways.

Lastly, if you’re going to be away from home on trash pickup day consider asking a neighbor to take your cans to the curb and back. Your neighbor most likely will prefer to help out with this chore rather than having to look at your trashcan sitting on the street for days on end.

Check out the website for Keep America Beautiful at for additional information, including activities for children to increase their awareness and sense of responsibility.

To become involved with KOMB, (559) 760-1058.