City Alleys Runneth Over With Snow: Causing Trash Collection Problems

By Scott Sarvay
By Jeff Neumeyer

February 7, 2011 Updated Feb 7, 2011 at 6:28 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - All piled up and no place to go.

One of the biggest snowfall totals in the city in years is creating some challenges for garbage collectors.

We're talking about a problem especially bad in older neighborhoods.

A lot of folks leave their garbage can in an alley, and garbage trucks are having trouble getting into those areas for pickup.

City officials say between 14 and 16 inches of snow are piled up on the ground.

That goes for alleyways as well.

They are narrow, and it's often impractical to get a plow in those tight areas.

So city officials have turned to smaller, more mobile machines to get the job done.

Frank Suarez/Fort Wayne Director of Information: " Right now, we've hired some contractors, plus we're getting some help from City Utilities with their backhoes and their equipment that can go into alleys to remove that snow, and that we can then get a truck down there. So, we should be back on a regular schedule with those people this week."

In some cases, crews simply push the snow to the end of the alley.

However, in other instances, they are lifting the snow into other trucks and hauling it away, most likely to a city park where it's dumped to await melting.

The total price tag for the city from the last week or so of snow-related expenses is expected to approach $250,000.

License plate and gas tax revenues, not property taxes, will be tapped to foot the bill.

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