Garbage collection issues in Keokuk have some people upset

After reading recent Facebook posts, it appears that garbage collection has become a hot button issue in Keokuk.

What has many residents expressing their opinions is the enforcement of rules set by the city that requires garbage containers not to be emptied by city collection crews if the container lid is not completely closed.

Everyday, the city of Keokuk sends out it's garbage trucks to collect garbage that's set out by city residents.

Ninety-five gallon containers are provided by the city and the trucks come along and use a mechanical arm to dump the trash into the truck.

The city says it's simple, follow the rules and you're garbage will be picked up.

Keokuk Mayor Tom Marion said the city is using trucks that don't require the driver to get out and actually handle the container.

It saves the city money in many ways including workmen's comp and possibly paying short term disability if a city employee is injured in the job. But there are other reasons for the lid requirement according to Marion.

"Yeah there are issues with animals, there are issues with wind getting into it, you know it's not a sanitary situation. So there are reasons why we do this and why it's part of our rules," Marion said.

But for Heather Ryland, she said her lid was open by just a couple of inches and that the city truck left a note on her container as to why it wasn't emptied and then the truck went on by. She said this time of year, people generate more trash and that the city should work with residents instead of leaving fliers explaining why their trash wasn't collected.

"And I just think that the city needs to look at this and review their policy, and you know, try and use some common sense and talk to them and ask some questions and try and resolve this," Ryland said.

The city said they're encouraging people to recycle and that the more they recycle the less trash is put into the large trash containers.

The mayor said they're under an order to reduce the amount of trash generated and that's why they're encouraging people to recycle and lessen the amount of trash that goes into the containers so their lid can close.

Residents in Keokuk pay just over 17 dollars a month for the weekly garbage collection and twice a month recycling collection.