If Kim Forehand didn't have a basement, a truck and a positive attitude toward recycling, she, too, might have been hauling a week's worth of trash outside this week instead of walking her dogs.
Lawrence's new once-a-week trash pickup has entered its second week, and on her walk, Forehand noticed that the results were beginning to stack up. More trash bags cluttered the curbs.
It just so happens Forehand has a big basement for storing recyclables, a truck for hauling them and an enjoyment for recycling, so her trash habits have not changed. But her neighbors' might.
"It's going to be more inconvenient than before if people don't recycle," Forehand said. "I guess that's one way to motivate them."
Lawrence City Commissioner Bob Schumm said the city's old twice-a-week system was rare among area communities. He said it might take people a little while to get used to the change, though.
"It requires a little bit more care. You're storing trash for a week instead of two to three days," he said.
BOB YOOS, Lawrence solid waste superintendent, said the first week of the citywide trash changes proved successful.
The successes he outlined in a memo to city officials were:
Crews collected 3,500 Christmas trees weighing 40 tons that are now in the city compost pile.
Alley clean-ups and curbside pickups yielded 54 tires. People have responded to the removal of a tire pickup fee, Yoos said.
Two neighborhoods also benefited from the first Friday alley clean-ups. Crews tidied alleys in the Oread Neighborhood and the neighborhood between KU and Lawrence High School.
No problems were reported with regular trash collection.
More people are renting "polycarts" from the city, enabling them to store more trash and eliminate garbage bags. Yoos said residents rented 57 carts. A 90-gallon cart costs $2 a month, and the 60-gallon model is $1.50 a month.
About 900 phone calls to the sanitation department mainly have been inquiries rather than complaints. Yoos said about 5 percent were complaints and 5 percent were compliments.
Recycling companies reported an immediate increase in recyclables, and the city's recycling coordinator's office got 30 requests for backyard composting information packets.
City officials, including Mayor Bob Schulte and Commissioners Schumm and John Nalbandian, said none or few people had called them about the changes.
"I suppose that's good," Schulte said. "Typically, people who would call me would have a negative point of view."