Holidays will soon mean less trash pickup for Tyler residents.
This month, the Tyler City Council approved a pilot program to decrease residential garbage pickup from two times a week to once during holiday weeks.
The change will go into effect the week of July 4th.
The measure is anticipated to save the department about $200,000 a year, which officials say will delay a rate increase.
"Our hope is we can get (the system) more efficient for people, and it keep us from taking our rates up," said Russ Jackson, director of solid waste. "This isn't being dogmatic. We are trying to keep people from having to pay more, and this is a simple way and a more efficient way to do that."
The city currently observes 10 holidays: Thanksgiving, 4th of July, New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Good Friday, Labor Day, Memorial Day, as well as Christmas and Christmas Eve.
On those weeks, the city will pick up residential trash once instead of twice, but commercial trash pickup will not be affected by the change.
Christmas will be taken up on an annual analysis, depending on what day of the week it falls. The holiday is a heavy trash-generating day, as residents throw out product boxes, wrapping paper and trash amassed from making a large holiday meal.
This year, trash pickup will resume the day after Christmas and run on Dec. 26 and 27, Jackson said.
Jackson does not expect there to be a large impact on residents.
Trash pickup service in Tyler is split with half of the city putting it on the curb on Mondays and Thursdays and the other half on Tuesday and Friday.
Wednesday normally is scheduled as a maintenance day for the trucks and for handling special pickups.
On holiday weeks, the schedule is shifted, but that shift generally allows for a single day between pickups, and not a lot of trash to be collected.
The result, Jackson said, is nearly-empty trucks roaming streets picking up one or two bags of garbage in each can, which is created in one day's worth of time instead of three or four days.
The routes are expensive because workers are earning overtime or holiday pay, plus the cost of fuel. Trash collection trucks get 3 mpg.
"In a lot of cases, they are driving through the neighborhoods, and my guys are getting done at 11 a.m., when they are normally getting done at 3:30 p.m. or later," Jackson said.