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Community Needs To Be Flexible During BPU Garbage Container Rollout

The Jamestown BPU’s plan to standardize garbage cans in the city of Jamestown is a good one.

The city code is clear that city residents’ garbage is supposed to be placed at the curb in a covered container, and far too many city residents don’t have containers either by choice or because they can’t afford them.

But the program only works if the utility has an alternative for city residents like Betsy Heimbuch, a 75-year-old who told The Post-Journal she can barely use the 30-inch can she currently has. More than three in 10 Jamestown residents are either over the age of 65 or have a disability — a population that simply needs a smaller garbage can.

“We’re trying to be as correct as we can be now, but if we have to be flexible, we will be,” Becky Robbins, BPU communications coordinator, told The Post-Journal this week. “There are situations we haven’t anticipated. We know we will have to revise things. We have the time to work out any issues.”

This isn’t change for simply for the sake of change. Having garbage placed at the curb in containers will keep garbage from being ripped open by wild animals, while having everyone using a can that can be mechanically lifted will keep BPU employees from handling garbage. Robbins told The Post-Journal an employee was injured just last week on a piece of glass during garbage pickup. Broken glass and needles are something BPU employees shouldn’t have to deal with if they don’t have to. The new cans mean they don’t have to.

Those who need a smaller can should start by calling the BPU’s garbage hotline at 661-1651. BPU officials are staying flexible as they roll out this program, and the community needs to be flexible too.

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