Hernando County residents won't be seeing countywide garbage collection service anytime soon as a non-binding referendum on so-called universal service lost by a wide margin on Tuesday.
Some neighborhoods, however, may get to try the once-per-week garbage, recycling and yard waste system on a trial basis. Officials plan to analyze the vote by precinct to determine where a pilot program might be supported. Precinct reports were not available late Tuesday.
The referendum was intended to show officials what parts of the county might be interested in the universal system, which would use standardized trash bins that special trucks would pick up and dump.
The county's hauling franchises expire Oct. 1, 2011, and new bids are being sought for a menu of possible trash pick-up alternatives. Part of Spring Hill is on mandatory collection with twice-weekly garbage and once every other week recycling.
The county proposed the universal, automated system because haulers said it was the most efficient and could potentially save the most for consumers, possibly $25 a year.
Opponents argued that they didn't want only one garbage pickup per week, they didn't want to recycle, they didn't think they could maneuver the cans or had no place to store them and they wanted to take their garbage to the convenience center or landfill for free.