Bellaire residents will now be able to put six bags of garbage out at the curb instead of four, following city council approval.
The council heard from at least 22 residents Monday night who spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting or wrote letters about changing the number of bags that are allowed at the curb.
The city council made changes to its solid waste and recycling ordinance in March based on recommendations from the city’s recycling committee. One of the changes included a four-bag limit and residents must buy stickers for additional bags, which cost $1 a sticker.
The council said in March that they would look at tweaking the solid waste ordinance after a couple of months. Councilmember Roman Reed asked that the number of allowable garbage bags be placed on last night’s agenda to allow for six bags instead of four.
Reed said that he supported allowing six bags to be put out and that not all residents would put out six bags on each collection day.
“It shows that we’re in touch with our residents,” he said, adding that it did not mean that council had previously approved an incorrect ordinance.
Councilman Pat McLaughlan said that in order to bring the garbage discussion to a close, he would support increasing the allowable bags to six.
“This continuing debate, in my opinion, is diverting the important work that council should be doing,” he said.
Mayor Phil Nauert also supported the change in bags and said it “is not an embarrassing mistake.”
“People have better things to do than to come to these meetings, to call me, to write me,” he said. “I don’t think four is working. I’m going to vote on six.”
Councilmember Corbett Parker and Mayor Pro Tem Mandy Nathan both said they would vote against the change.
Councilmember Jim Avioli said he thought the issue was becoming more of an emotional issue than a practical issue and said that most of the people who wrote letters against the change were from the recycling committee who recommended it.
Avioli said Bellaire has large families, residents host events and parties and they should be able to put their trash out at the curb.
Council approved the bag limit from four to six with four council members in favor and two against. Councilman Andrew Friedberg was absent.
For more information about the city’s solid waste ordinance, visit http://www.ci.bellaire.tx.us/index.aspx?NID=883.