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City may abolish free old furniture pickup

COVINGTON -- The city of Covington will no longer provide free curbside pickup of furniture and appliances if an amendment to the solid waste ordinance is approved by the City Council.

If approved, those who have old televisions, sofas and other furniture they want to dispose of will have to haul it to the landfill themselves or pay a fee.

Public Works Director Billy Bouchillon estimates the change will decrease trips to the landfill by 15 to 18 per week. At $150 per trip, including fuel costs and man hours, the city can expect to save between $70,000 and $100,000 annually, he said.

"If somebody doesn't have the ability to take it to the landfill themselves, we will still pick it up," Bouchillon said, but noted that first, the resident must fill out an application at City Hall and pay a minimum $50 fee.

The amended ordinance states that the city will not collect discarded furniture and appliances, boxes, cardboard, metal, machinery, tires, rugs, soil, ashes, construction and building material, poisonous, flammable and hazardous materials and any garbage not contained in city roll carts or recycling containers.

Acceptable household garbage, which must be placed in roll carts, is defined as food scraps, paper, cans, wrappings, small discarded items, rags and other waste matter normally disposed of from residences, churches and other small establishments.

Acceptable recyclable material, which must be placed in recycling containers, includes glass bottles, plastics, metal cans and newspapers.

Acceptable yard waste includes tree limbs, grass clippings and leaves. The city will haul up to a pickup truck's worth of yard debris for free. Those with additional yard debris for pickup should fill out an application at City Hall and pay a minimum $50 fee.

A rule already in force, but that is not in the ordinance, is that roll carts must be placed in their proper locations no earlier than 7 p.m. on the day preceding collection and removed within 24 hours after collection. Roll carts, recycling bins and yard debris cannot obstruct gutters, drains, walkways or streets.

The council approved the first reading of the ordinance amendment Monday night. The final reading is scheduled for May 17.