Sunday, June 24, 2018
News Roundup

Hernando commission to consider expansion of mandatory garbage pickup zone

BROOKSVILLE — More than 1,000 additional Hernando County households would be required to have their garbage picked up by a hauler if the County Commission approves an expansion in the boundaries of the mandatory zone on Tuesday.

During a discussion last month, commissioners seemed interested in the expansion, designed to create a more logical boundary line that includes entire neighborhoods.

More than two decades ago, residents voted to mandate garbage collection in Spring Hill. But in the years since, the community has grown, and boundary lines now cut through some neighborhoods and subdivisions.

That presented a problem for Republic Services after it became the county's franchise garbage hauler in January 2012. The company had to build its customer list from scratch, and divided neighborhoods complicated the process.

The largest area to be added is a swath of land north of Powell Road, west of Barclay Avenue, east of the existing mandatory zone and south of Cortez Boulevard. A smaller section is south of Powell, east of Barclay and north of the intersection of Barclay and Corporate Boulevard.

Setting new boundaries would also play a role in another discussion the commission is expected to have soon. Commissioners are considering a change in the way people in the mandatory zone pay for their garbage collection.

Currently, Republic Services bills customers quarterly. County officials are talking about putting the cost on property tax bills, similar to what is done with the annual solid waste assessment for landfill operations.

Billing on the tax bill would be a big help to Republic Services, and county officials hope the company in return would begin picking yard waste up every week rather than every other week. The frequency of yard waste pickups has been an issue with numerous customers.

If commissioners approve the change in the mandatory zone, it would go into effect July 1.

That would be fine with Dolores Muzer, a resident in the affected area. She and her husband, Arthur, have always had their garbage picked up. Making it mandatory, she said, might mean a cleaner neighborhood.

Muzer was out on a walk recently and noticed that someone had dumped a big-screen television in the woods nearby. In the past she's seen everything from sofas to rugs left on vacant lots.

"If everyone had to pay,'' she said, "maybe we'd avoid that.''

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