Trash piling up in Battle Ground? City considers mandatory pickup

Trash piling up in Battle Ground? City considers mandatory pickup »Play Video

BATTLE GROUND, Wash. - As this southwest Washington city grows so do its problems. For one, more people, means more garbage, and some people aren't picking theirs up.

Now the city is looking into making trash pickup mandatory.

There have been enough people raising a stink about uncollected garbage lining the streets that the Public Works Department wants to keep the problem from spreading. So the city's doing some research and is trying to determine how much collecting garbage costs and should the city do it or a private company.

And what are other cities doing? It turns out more than half of the cities in Washington, as big or bigger than Battle Ground, have mandatory trash pickup.

Walter Church has only lived in Battle Ground about six months and said he’s never really thought about getting his garbage picked up. He just did it.

He's OK with making it mandatory – for the most part.

"As long as it's kept within check as far as the prices," Church said. "If it goes mandatory then it's one of those things that’s kind of like water and sewer: you have to have it, so you're going to pay the rates."

And if garbage is such a problem, most people don't seem to notice it.

"It hasn't affected me at all," said Brent Godin, who's against mandatory pickup. "And I haven't really seen that problem anywhere. I think we make our own choices, and most of the time it's the right choices."

The council has had one round of public testimony and doesn't know if there will be more. For now, the council has put other issues, like the upcoming city budget, at the top of the priority list.

The head of Battle Ground's Department of Public Works said that as far as the recent complaints about garbage piling up are concerned, people do get the trash dumped right away after the city pays them a visit.