Alabaster continuing curbside rubbish collection once a month

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Alabaster residents will be able to request curbside heavy trash pickups one day a month after the Alabaster Public Works Department’s current weekly curbside rubbish pickup service ends after April.

In November 2018, the Alabaster City Council voted to end the weekly curbside rubbish pickup service at the end of April. After April, the city will continue to pick up curbside wood and yard waste, such as trees, leaves and grass clippings, each week.

During a March 4 meeting, the council voted to enact a new monthly sign-up system for residents beginning in May, which will allow a certain number of residents to request curbside rubbish pickup for the first Monday of each month.

Through the system, residents will be able to visit the city’s website, visit or call City Hall, pay a $5 non-refundable fee and request a curbside heavy trash pickup. Sign-ups will go live two weeks before the first Monday of each month, and will begin on April 22 for the May 6 pickup day. Sign-ups will be limited to 100 slots, which will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Those who reserve a spot will be able to place their items to be picked up on the curbside the weekend before the Monday pickup. If the first Monday of the month falls on a holiday, the pickup date will be moved to the second Monday of the month.

The city will also have two additional pickup days in April and September coinciding with the Shelby County Landfill’s free Saturdays.

“I think this will address a lot of the concerns we’ve heard from residents,” Alabaster Mayor Marty Handlon said. “When we decided to do away with the weekly (heavy trash) pickup, people heard that we would go from every week to twice a year, and now it will be 14 times a year.”

Currently, Public Works uses grapple trucks to pick up any type of debris left on curbs throughout the city and transports it to the landfill. Public Works Director Mark Harris previously said issues arise when wood waste is mixed with other types of debris, such as household trash, furniture and other items, and then transported to the landfill. The Public Works curbside debris pickup service is separate from the city’s regular weekly trash and recycling pickup.

From 2010 to 2017, the city saw its number of hauls to the landfill double, and Harris said the 2018 total surpassed the 2017 number.

“We worked many months on this to figure out what was going to replace our current curbside pickup service,” said Ward 3 Councilwoman Stacy Rakestraw. “I want to thank Mark Harris for helping us to come up with a system that is fair across the board for everyone involved.”

Ward 5 Councilman Russell Bedsole said the city will examine the monthly pickup system after it begins, and will make any necessary changes to help the system run more efficiently.

“If we get into it and see that changes need to be made, we certainly have the ability to do that,” Bedsole said.