Group Petitions to Get Automated Trash Pickup on Ballot

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Fort Smith Citizens for Automated Trash Collection turned in thousands of signatures Wednesday afternoon, hoping to get automated trash pickup on the November ballot.

Joel Culberson, of Fort Smith, says he delivered about 3,332 signatures.

“We’re at about 510 over where we needed to be for the minimum,” he said.

Culberson represents the group who wants automated trash pickup in Fort Smith.

Fort Smith City Clerk Sherri Gard now has to verify each signature. The group needs 2,822 signatures to get the issue on the ballot.

Supporters say automated trash pickup is safer, more efficient and cheaper.

Opponents want their trash picked up manually in the alley.

“It’s convenience that we don’t want to give up and we’re willing to fight for it,” said Carolyn Plank, of Fort Smith.

Plank says not everyone can get their trash to the front curb. Opponents argue automated pickup could also create an eye sore for the city.

“We’re not gone give up,” said Plank. “I mean, we started it. We’re gonna finish it."

The Fort Smith Department of Sanitation told 5NEWS rates could go up if the city does not convert to automated pickup.

If the signatures are verified, both supporters and opponents plan to educate voters about the issue before the general election.