Recycling program to continue in Fort Smith

by Tina Alvey Dale ([email protected]) 1,184 views 

The city of Fort Smith will resume a normal sanitation collection cycle Monday (April 20). This means garbage, recycle, and yardwaste will be picked up separately.

The city temporarily suspended recycling March 23 in one of many efforts to protect staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. At that time, many city departments were having as many employees as possible work from home, and departments such as streets, utilities and sanitation adjusted staffing and activities in order to protect staff from infection, said Deputy City Administrator Jeff Dingman said.

The initial suspension in recycling pick-up was set for March 23 through April 3. That was later extended to April 17. Dingman said the city has chosen not to extend that, so beginning Monday, residential sanitation crews resume collecting recycling.

During the suspended service, residential customers were told they could use their recycling cart for overflow trash and it would be collected along with the trash from their regular bin. Customers who have continued to use their recycling bin for overflow trash this week and put it out for pickup will still have their trash collected, a media notice said.

“If you’ve used your recycle cart for overflow for the week of 4.13.2020, the recycling crew will tag your cart as a reminder that we are recycling, and a trash truck will come around and collect it,” the notice said.

However, sanitation workers will not handle or collect any bags outside of the cart.

“If you have extra bags, after the trash truck goes through, reload your cart and give us a call,” the notice said.

The sanitation department also has rescheduled pickups for any residents who had a Dial-A-Truck pickup scheduled for the weeks of March 23 through April 3. Those customers should have already been contacted. Pickups will begin Monday for anyone who had Dial-A-Truck pickups scheduled for April 6-17.

“When first made the decision to suspend the recycling pickup, the coronavirus was still ramping up, and we had no idea how it would affect us,” Dingman said. “We have a little better idea now how it will affect our operations, and we see we are able to provide some of our services as usual.”

The following services remain suspended through April 30:
• Saturday Commercial collection
• Saturday Landfill Hours
• Access to Stone Park at the Landfill.

Landfill access will be limited to those customers with landfill charge accounts. The landfill will continue to be closed to those who pay cash, check, or credit card.