RACINE -- To improve efficiency and prevent mass dumping, Racine just launched a new trash removal program. It looks to save money for the city which is battling budget issues.
In the past, the Racine Public Works Department scheduled bulk garbage pickups separately from the regular trash pickups. That took employees and resources away from everyday street maintenance.
"What we probably thought was gonna be simply coming by and picking up a few bulky items turned into massive dumping," said John Rooney, City of Racine Public Works Commissioner.
Rooney eliminated that as part of a new program rolled out this week.
Another key change -- holiday pickups. Racine will now slide its entire pickup schedule forward one day following a holiday -- instead of picking up two days at once. The change will save the city at least $100,000.
"All things we were doing in DPW, we were really getting away from that and really just servicing waste materials with an inordinate amount of labor and equipment," Rooney said.
Lastly, by having residents take their own yard debris to a collection site, the city hopes to prevent some contamination from entering through the sewer system into Root River and eventually Lake Michigan.