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Patch Readers Weigh In on County's Trash Situation

The comments poured in when Patch asked readers what they thought about the once-a-week trash pickup and if it was getting them to recycle more.

How are you dealing with the new trash situation? Does your dog’s poop cause a smelly problem? Are creatures getting into the cans? Have you flushed food down the toilet so it doesn't sit around for days?

Patch readers have said it all this week in response to a since the county switched to once-a-week trash pickup in early June.

As of Friday, nearly 700 people participated in the poll, and the majority of people said they are not recycling more with the new pickup schedule. Furthermore, not everyone is happy about the new situation.

Readers sounded off in the comments section on the various problems they are encountering with trash overload. While some readers praised the county for its recycling program, many people were angry about the stench of their trash that now sits around for a few extra days.

Here is a roundup of some of the comments left on Patch this week. To see what everyone had to say, .

Kim: I have always been a good recycler, but the switch to once a week is horrible, since many in my neighborhood are still putting trash out for a Monday pick up and it sits there until our trash/recycling day on Thurs. Animals are getting into the trash and causing a mess (not to mention - smell)

Hlnkid: Never much needed that second day of trash collection really, not with the great way we can recycle in AA county (just toss it all together!). Actually it would be nice to have a second day of RECYCLE collection eventually. Try recycling in Queen Anne's County. You have to go to the tiny dump and seperate bottles by COLOR. Yikes! Great job, AA County with the recycle program. Love it!

Crofton Resident: I'm recycling more but I just hate having stinky trash sitting around for an entire week even if I don't fill the bag all the way. In my townhouse with a very small back yard there aren't very good options for storing a bag that has food scraps in it. The flies and other critters that will get into the garbage will be eating good in AA County.

Carolyn Blakeney: If you do not have a compost pile or a garbage disposal, the food scraps can get flushed down the toilet (not bones though- but I don't eat meat, so it's a mute point for me). That's where they would end up anyway if you had eaten them, right? I do not put ANY food scraps in the trash, ever, so the trash does not become stinky.

Dena: I'm sorry but there is no way I'm flushing food down the toilet. Plus we eat crabs several times a week & I think I would clog up the sewer. We live near the water and already have a problem with mice. Having a compost bin is not going to help it all stinks too :( I would like to take all my crab waste and put it on the counties doorstep!

Carol B: Amen!!! I scoop my dog’s poop--would anyone like to deal with that, after a week baking in 90+ sunshine??? I live in a townhouse without a garage---my lower level (in the back, where my trash bins are) is down an unpaved slope one story from the front. I'm over 50--and on my own. What do you geniuses expect me to do with the trash that accumulates and stinks for a week, before you come to pick it up???

Dawn: I don't understand the reasoning behind this. "They" say going to once a week collection is to encourage people to recycle more. What does not make sense to me, is that you still have the same amount to pick up whether its trash or recyclables. If you are doing more recycling, yes you have less trash, but you have that much more in the recycle bin. Once a week trash pick up is for the government to save money, not to recycle more.

Jody: I haven't noticed any difference in the amount we recycle but what I have noticed is that my one bag of trash that sits for the week is now crawling with maggots. Constantly. And this is even after all the scraps go down the garbage disposal. Horrible!

Susan Kim: Last weekend, my fiancée attached wheels to our bin. Works great! He followed their instructions.

Ann: Since those in charge obviously do not care about our trash sitting around all week stinking up everything, I decided I did not care about recycling. I now throw everything into all the bins. I like how "they" are saving money...... Again no thought process by those in charge. Brains people!!

See also:

CORRECTION: This article has been updated to correct the results of the poll. Patch regrets the error.

John June 26, 2012 at 12:31 AM
The bottom line is one day trash pick up is horrible! I had crabs Friday night and they smelled horrible come Thursday when we had trash pickup. If they think it will help with recycling then we should do the opposite and not recycle, we should also remember the ones that voted for this and vote them out. Vote, Vote, Vote someone please post all the names of who voted this in!
Amy Leahy June 26, 2012 at 12:45 AM
I thought once a week pick up would be okay because our second day was always very light. However, now that it's only once a week, having that garbage sitting around (in my garage) for a whole week is horrible. I already recycled 3/4 of my stuff, so this has made no difference in what goes out in recycling. Bring back twice a week pick-up!
Lisa Shore June 26, 2012 at 01:32 AM
I know this is different than most postings - but once a week trash pickup works fine for us. We put out 2 bags a week and don't have animals getting into the trash (even though we live on the edge of the woods and have neighborhood stray dogs). I say keep once a week pickup and use the savings for other things. Our family of 4 has been putting our trash out once a week for over a year. . .
Eliza B. June 26, 2012 at 01:32 PM
If they are going to once a week, then they should have some place more convenient than Millersville for us to drive and drop a bag mid-week if we need to (crabs, vacation, parties.) We always have a full jumbo trash container that is full, and sometimes 1/2 of the other. Now we have 2-3 cans. If they have to send more trucks and use more man-power I'm not so sure this is really saving anything. I have always recycled anything and everything I can get my hands on, including household items like old toys, broken plastic lawn chairs, etc. Since I recycle so much, I see this as the equivlent as keeping the whole class in for recess since one or two were bad. As someone said above, I have lids, I have sturdy bags, but guess what, it still smells on a hot summer day. It doesn't matter how much you recycle, a bag of crabs and a week's worth of dog poop left outside for a few days is going to stink! Maybe they should have been smarter and implemented this change in the winter!
Catherine M. Salam June 27, 2012 at 02:36 PM
This topic really struck a nerve! Don't forget composting as a way to reduce garbage. Once a week collection is fine with me (2 person household). The county does need to save money -- for our teachers' pensions, since the State of MD shifted 50% of the cost to the counties during the 2012 Session.
Catherine M. Salam June 27, 2012 at 02:38 PM
"Gaming" proceeds are dedicated to education funding.
Carol B July 22, 2012 at 03:43 PM
I just went out to my second-story (ground-level, in the front of the house) deck to throw some rubbish into the locked-lidded, bag-lined 39-gallon garbage can. It was crawling--quite literally!!--with hundreds of 1/2" maggots, and spraying it inside and out, directly on the disgusting little things with Bayer Home Pest spray--which even keeps spiders and mosquitoes away!--did NOTHING. They kept on going, right through it. Thank heaven for the hose I also keep on the deck. I knocked off and washed away the ones I could, then tied the bag tightly, washed it down, too, and brought it out to the curb (even though my once-a-week pickup is not due until Tuesday morning). My Community Association can scold me for that if they like--I was not about to give the maggots a chance to grow and multiply. (I have to go from the deck through my lace-tableclothed, wall-to-wall carpeted dining room and my formal living room to get to the front entrance, which is bad enough when it's "just" the weekly trash. If I had the stomach for it, believe me, I'd collect the maggots in a jar, drive them to Leopold's office, and dump them on his desk!
Trish July 24, 2012 at 07:40 PM
once a week trash pick up is not enough...perhaps you could have a one day a week in front of house and one day a week in front of neighborhood (one designated place in each neighborhood)
Clayton Rutkauskas August 14, 2012 at 11:43 PM
maggots are causing a huge problem. twice a week pickup should happen between memorial day and labor day
Bartholomew Simpson August 15, 2012 at 04:03 PM
I'm on my way out to double bag the crab trash from last weekend. In pasadena, I don't have pickup till friday. I have three horrible smelling bags covered with maggots and its only wednesday. this is insane.
Bartholomew Simpson August 15, 2012 at 05:38 PM
good idea.
Lenny Archambeault September 01, 2012 at 10:02 PM
First time I have ever had maggots in my life and it was 1 bag of trash
Carol B September 01, 2012 at 11:25 PM
Because of the Labor Day holiday, everyone needs to know that TRASH WILL NOT BE PICKED UP UNTIL WEDNESDAY OF NEXT WEEK. Gives your Labor Day party offal an extra 24 hours to smell awful--and attract all sorts of nasty vermin, in the 80+ heat and the almost constant rain.Bravo, Leopold and O'Malley: I hope everyone who's suffering will tell you and all the people who support you what they think of your genius maneuever at the expense of the MISERY OF THE PUBLIC YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO SERVE on Election Day. (Let's start by defeating another O'Malley backdoor baby, Question 7.) We need another clandestinely-negotiated gambling casino in MD the way we need another self-serving liberal in the statehouse (and I am one of those independent "undecideds," in case anyone's interested). I'm just sick of everything that "is"--and I think it's time that I and everyone else who feels that way told them so.
Patrick H. September 02, 2012 at 12:51 PM
Carol - Seems like your trying to compare apples with oranges. Cutting back on trash pick up seems like a good alternative to increasing fees/taxes. If you have a good trash receptable there shouldn't be much of an odor. I received a notice in the mail informing me that the trash and recylce pickups would just be moved back one day and not a week as you state. Instead of mine being picked up Tuesday it will be picked up on Wednesday. It seems ironic that on the day we celebrate the labor force you want the labor force to work. Is this what you are really upset about or is it an excuse to 'trash' the casino vote? Thank you to the officials that dropped one trash pickup day a week in order to keep our expenses down.
Patrick H. September 02, 2012 at 12:53 PM
Instead of taking the trash to a different neighborhood location how about taking it to the county dump? Or buying a good trash receptable that has a locking cover? Or putting a little bleach in your trash can once a week in order to keep the maggots out? This was a good decision in order to save us all money and keep out fees down. Give it time. You'll get used to it.
Patrick H. September 02, 2012 at 01:00 PM
A trash compactor usually helps with some of the problem you are talking about. Try a little bleach in your trash receptacle. Would you rather have higher taxes and fees just so that you can have trash pickup twice weekly? How about twice daily? Try to adjust Carol B. if you are worried about your lace-tableclothed, wall-to-wall carpeted dining room and formal living room it sounds as if it is the maid that needs to be careful and not you. JUST KIDDING. Think of all the gas and other savings we are supporting with this cut back.
Carol B September 02, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Patrick, seems like you didn't read my post. I didn't say it would be picked up a week later--I said it would be picked up on Wednesday (instead of Tuesday) NEXT WEEK. Like the others who jumped in so quickly to make snide remarks about "the maid" and offer stupid solutions (like spending money I don't have for a trash compactor--that would counteract the supposed "savings" of this brilliant county strategy several hundred times--savings which none of us will ever see in the first place--or buy a locking trash can--which I already have--or throw bleach over my trash to kill the maggots--which doesn't work) you are deaf to anything but your own agenda. I used to live in the country in southern Virginia, and took my trash to the compactor as often as I needed to do so; I didn't mind--because if I ate fish or chicken or steak or anything else the remnants of which would attract vermin, it went over there immediately--and for free. I *don't have that choice* now. I didn't ask for anyone to work on Labor Day. I asked for this county not to leave rubbish sitting and baking on my deck in hot, humid, wet weather for eight full days because there is a holiday. Try walking a few feet in the other guy's shoes once in a while, all of you. I hear your "green" arguments, and--though I think you're incredibly naive to think you will "save" anything--your faith in your elected officials. Why are you so deaf to those of us on the other side?
Chris W September 02, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Some simple adjustments will remedy many of the problems mentioned above. Using a garbage disposal helps for getting rid of food scraps. You can also time cleaning out your fridge so its the night befor trash day. We are a family of four and the only difference we have noticed is putting two bags in the can instead of 1. i always thought that two day pickup was a waste of limited taxpayer resources and would not want to go back. That said, i would not be opposed as long as it was optional for residents and the costs were borne by only those who opted for the second day pick up.
Amy Leahy September 02, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Catherine, not everyone has enough land/yard to compost. Especially if it means teacher's pensions get the savings ….spoken by one who represents those who have no pension benefits.
Amy Leahy September 02, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Chris W - those are actually some very good suggestions. I have moved my trash cans out of the garage (due to the smell) and they now are along the side of the house where they are not seen from the street.
Chris W September 02, 2012 at 07:37 PM
It is also more difficult for people in townhouses since they have limited exterior space. Perhaps there is a role here for HOAs to meet the needs of their homeowners.
Patrick H. September 02, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Thank you for supporting the environment and saving our scarce resources. In this 'giveme, giveme, giveme' society it is nice to hear from someone who is willing to make some small changes in order to keep out rates down. I'm new to this area but if these are the kinds of neighbors I am going to have maybe I made a mistake moving to Maryland. To the commentator that has crabs - try seeing a doctor.
Patrick H. September 02, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Carol. Sorry if I misread your comment that stated that trash would be picked up "Wednesday of Next Week". To me that reads as if you meant the week after this coming week. The cost of a trash compactor is minimal compared to the increase in taxes we would all have to face. I have walked in your shoes so please do not suggest that I haven't. Your comments suggest to me that your problems are just that - your problems and you want what you want when you want it. Try using fewer disposables. Schedule your crab feasts closer to trash day. Go out to eat. Spend your money instead of demanding that the County spend mine. This is not my agenda Carol - it is the County's agenda in order to avoid tax increases due to labor, fuel and so on. I want to once again thank the county for coming up with this solution rather than laying off people or increasing our taxes. I think that if you view some of the comments made by Chris and Amy you will find some additional viable solutions. Please stop spending my tax dollars to meet your personal needs. And if you cannot afford a garbage disposal apply for assistance at the food bank or through DSS - they are not that expensive.
Patrick H. September 02, 2012 at 09:12 PM
Good perspective and suggestions. I have found that HOAs usually don't want to tackle these issues since there is never a consensus in where to spend dues. On site pickup points usually don't work since they are not kept very clean - although it would also cut back on gas and labor expenses - not to mention the unsightly trash that usually blows through the neighborhood. It would be nice if the county offered a local area for recycling rather than having to drive through the neighborhoods twice a day.
Patrick H. September 02, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Chris - the friend we are staying with say that there are constant complaints from their HOA about homeowners that leave their trash cans outside on days other than recycle days and that they have little means of enforcing community policies. Seems like we all just need to learn to work together for the ultimate good of all and not be so ME-ME-ME oriented. Take Care
Jessica D September 03, 2012 at 01:47 AM
I used to store my offal until trash day. Worked well. Suffering was minimal. Misery was staved off.
Why September 12, 2012 at 05:10 PM
I moved to Anne Arundel County a few weeks before the change in the trash schedule and I noticed that there seemed to be a lot of flies in this area in general. However, since the change, with all this trash sitting in our yard and all of the town homes around me, the flies are unbearable. I opened my front door for ten minutes earlier and eight flies got in during that short amount of time. I sprayed them but I hate to use those chemicals in my home. I left and came back and in the time it took for me to open the door, walk in, and begin to shut it, another one got in. I tie my trash bags but that doesn't stop the flies from getting inside and laying their eggs. I can easily see 5 plus flies through one bag at any given time. And because of my backyard being closed in, the bags must be carried through the house to the front door when we finally can put it out. Disgusting! This fly situation is CLEARLY an issue anytime I googled! Perhaps its the combination of the one day a week trash pick up & the fact that there are 7 landfills in AAC.
Sandra Dent September 12, 2012 at 07:39 PM
We have done what we did before moving to Maryland and Anne Arundel County, put the smelly stuff (usually meats, and wrappings from meat packaging) in a zip lock bag, and put that bag in the freezer. Keep filling it throughout the week and toss out on garbage night for early AM pick-up. We have gone from one small trash bag twice a week to one or more larger ones for once a week. Our recycle bins are as full as they were before. Seems this was less a "recycling" issue than a change to once a week pick-ups. So why the lie?
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Ella Vader September 13, 2012 at 01:45 AM
Patrick H. - I hear Texas is nice especially during the summer.

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