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In an effort to streamline rubbish collection in Prince George’s County, Maryland executives devised a new trash pickup schedule, reducing collection from two days a week to just one.

In the first weeks of the new schedule, operations on some routes was seamless, while other residents complained that their scheduled collections were missed, causing sitting garbage to create a stench in their neighborhoods.

Door signs and automated calls announced the new schedule to more than 160,000 homes and urged residents to visit the county’s website for details on the date and time of their collections.  However, the County reported receiving more than 2,000 complaints that haulers had missed their homes.

“Overall, it’s gone very smoothly; most areas have had no problems at all,” Adam Ortiz, director for the Department of the Environment for Prince George’s County, said in a statement. “During the first month of transition, it’s a grace period because we knew that it would be extremely complicated.”

The change came following a 2007 increase in the county’s commitment to recycling, which reduced the amount of trash diverted to its landfill.  The one-day-a-week collection, according to the county’s website, allows 15 haulers to share the responsibility of picking up trash and recycled materials, promotes higher service efficiencies to increase customer service satisfaction, and saves county residents $6 million every year.

Prince George’s County joins the City of Baltimore, the District of Columbia, Anne Arundel, Howard and Montgomery counties, as well as several municipalities, in making the switch to once-a-week trash collection. The cost savings will reportedly allow the county to stabilize the solid waste fund, forestall a fee increase on residents, continue to support code enforcement, litter pickup, illegal dumping cleanups, blight removal and provide new carts to residents at no additional fee.

Residents who require additional information on the program may visit www.onceaweek.mypgc.us.