CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio — We all know the saying "One man's trash, is another man's treasure." In Cleveland Heights, trash is, quite literally, the treasure of many animals.
"Cleveland Heights is very wildlife-friendly if you will," said resident Melanie Dennis. "You get raccoons and skunks digging through and ripping up bags."
Alisa Henry just moved back to the city last year.
"A lot of times you have stray animals that get into the plastic bags, and then it will just scatter the trash everywhere," said Henry.
Dennis said people in Cleveland Heights have been dealing with trash problems for years.
"I have three dogs, so I just took them for a walk and they go and pick up trash from other people's yards they get bones, they get masks now, paper," she said.
Currently, the night before trash pick up, residents take out their trash and recyclable bags and put them outside of their homes on the curb.
Mia Lowery has lived in Cleveland Heights for years. She said she doesn't have a problem with the bags but does get frustrated when trash flies out of the bags.
"People throw something in at the last moment and they tend to be open and the debris would blow into other people’s yards," she said. "You have to go out and pick it up."
By mid-October, though, the manual system will switch to automated. Collette Cinkscale, the public works director for the city, said this will make the streets cleaner.
"The automatic truck will just empty the cart directly into the truck and that will eliminate the bag trash," said Clinkscale.
The new system will cost about $4.5 million, which will equate to about a $5.00 hike on monthly utility bills.
Mike Ciuny said he doesn't think the change is necessary but is indifferent.
"It seems like a huge undertaking. It’s expensive. I don’t know how needed it is and, hey, if they get around to it but I can live in the meantime," he said.
Clinkscale said every resident will receive a trash and a recycle bin and anyone who is worried about the weight of the bins can get smaller bins. Larger households can buy additional bins.
The change will be implemented in mid-October.